There was one good thing that came out of it [the war]. I had friends whose mothers went to work in factories. For the first time in their lives, they worked outside the home. They realized that they were capable of doing something more than cook a meal. I remember going to Sunday dinner one of the older women invited me to. She and her sister at the dinner table were talking about the best way to keep their drill sharp in the factory. I had never heard anything like this in my life. It was just marvelous. I was tickled.
One woman who works on the assembly line of an electrical-equipment plant has four children ranging from seven to fifteen, plus a husband who operates a gas station. Five separate times during the day she must have meals on the table ready to be eaten. She and her husband have breakfast early and she leaves food prepared for the children so they can get the extra sleep their growing bodies need. She lives close to work and so comes home for a hot lunch with the children. Then at six, they have their regular family dinner, and another dinner must be ready for the father who cannot leave his gas station until nine-thirty. Besides that, she packs lunches for her husband who cannot come home at noon. The family does its own work entirely [i.e., there is no maid], washing and ironing included (Baker, 1943, p. 73).
Before we bring the enemy to his knees this time, we're going to need the services of EVERY available woman and the sooner it is realized, that much sooner will we achieve victory! To build up our vast army, we will be forced to recruit women from homes, urban and rural . . . Women now employed in nonessential industries will have to change over to war work . . . ALL sources must be tapped (Herrick, 1943, p. 9).
The fact that so many married women, even in the poorest segment of the population, did not work is a measure of the limited availability of jobs, the heavy burden carried by women in the home, and the resistanc