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Hollywood’s War Work, 1942

Hollywood did it’s bit during WWII in raising much needed War Bond money.  Hoyts Theatres and Fox films had ‘buy a bond to get in’ film premières, which in November 1942 alone raised three and a half million pounds. Stars such as Gene Tierney, pictured below, sold ‘a billion dollars’ worth of bonds in September 1942, in 300 US Cities.

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Other actors helped out in different ways.  In 1942 Hollywood workers themselves contributed 160,000 pounds to the Red Cross, and invested around 80,000 pounds a week in war savings – not bad for a little town of 33,000 people.

Actress Linda Darnell qualified as a nurses aid, and with her friend Ann Miller ran a day-nursery for mothers enaged in war work.  Here is Linda Darnell rolling bandages for the Red Cross.

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More than 2000 of Hollywood’s workers were in the Armed services by the end of 1942, and Hollywood also make training films for Allies, Government propaganda movies and sent copies of movies to troops in remote locations.

Some stars gave their metal jewellery to scrap drives, and others, such as Cobina Wright, pictured below, did their bit for the ‘Dig for Victory ‘ campaign.

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As many movie making technicians joined the service, some actors spent their free time learning a trade, in case manpower shortages meant that movies could not be made.  Here is Ann Corcoran using an Acetylene Torch.

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Some glamour girls, such as Ginny Simms and Ann Jeffreys shown below,  simply helped out as hostesses in US Service Canteens.

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Photos from PIX Magazine, December 5, 1942

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1940s Factory Fashions

We know that during WWII women had to do their bit.  Not only at home, but by joining up or working in factories, such as those that produced uniforms, bombs, ammunition and even aircraft.  There were many propaganda posters urging women to get involved in factory work.

  

WWII propaganda poster for women to work        WWII propaganda poster for women to work

And for those already working, there were posters to encourage the right type of clothing.

WWII propaganda poster to encourage the right type of clothing       WWII propaganda poster to encourage the right type of clothing

Of course hair had to be tied back, or even better hidden under a scarf, Rosie riveter style.  Actress Veronica Lake even made a propaganda movie about tying back her hair for the war effort.  And overalls or siren suits were also worn.

   fashion for female workers during WWII

Simple, sturdy, and affordable shoes were needed.

Women at work on bomber, Douglas Aircraft Company, Long Beach, Calif.
Women at work on bomber, Douglas Aircraft Company, Long Beach, Calif.   Source

Low heeled Oxford shoes, sometimes with the two toned black and white or brown and white design or as above in two different materials, were popular, as were loafers (se below).  They were even worn with skirts,  often with low white socks.  They laced up and so supported the foot, making them ideal for everyday wear.  Low heeled Mary Jane style shoes were also a staple.  A single strap across the foot made them more secure than pumps, and chunky lowish heel had been common for several decades.  Leather was rationed during the war so new shoes were made of fabric, mesh and raffia.

fashion for female workers during WWII

Off duty women could wear sandals, pumps. wedges and peep-toe shoes, but these would not have been considered suitable for factory work.

fashion for female workers during WWII

Of course some women would have worn boots, much like those worn by men in uniform.

Oh, how they must have been dreaming of something like these:

 1940's Black and Acrylic Slingbacks, Size 5-5.5

Check out etsy for great vintage 40s  shoes, or go to Remix for an amazing range of vintage reproduction shoes to die for.

(Part of an article previously published at my other blog, Mid-Century Love)

Australian Army Medical Women’s Service, 1942

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A little wartime propaganda, 1943

An ad from October 1943, with just a little propaganda, from the Australian Woolen Mills.

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Women’s War Work and Corset Care, October 1941

I just love this whole magazine page from October 1941 it shows some of the jobs women did during the war, and then has an ad for corsets and how to care for them. Can you imagine having to worry about your underwear while doing war work, caring for children and worrying about your partner faraway?

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