Syracuse, NY: N.p., circa 1940-1960. Album containing 367 vintage vernacular photographs (350 black and white and seventeen color) compiled by Syracuse, New York resident Margaret Embree.
The collection includes images of Mrs. Embree's family life, as well as images of her longtime employment at the Iroquois China Company in Solvay, New York and the Thermold Plastics Corporation of Canastota, New York.
An impressive collection, with over 100 images (about a third of the photographs) featuring women performing factory work during World War II and the two subsequent decades. Notable also for four images of US soldiers and German prisoners dated "Summer 1945," at which point the Iroquois China factory seems to have temporarily accommodated a P.O.W. camp.
Because world wars often required countries to engage their entire populations, during World War II, US government propaganda encouraged women, popularly know as "Rosie the Riveter," or "Wendy the Welder," to take over industry jobs previously held by men who had left to become soldiers. Helping to herald in a new era of feminism and economic agency for many housewives who had had little before, between 1940 and 1944 the number of women in the workforce increased by 57%, at which point 4.1 million women between the ages of 20 and 34 worked in the defense industry. While many women returned to the home after the war, it is clear that this album represents those who stayed in the workforce.
Photographs Very Good plus or better. Housed in a contemporary faux-leather album, bound internally with two screw posts. Front board detached but present, else Very Good plus.