Sunday, August 8, 2010

The Past, In Living Color

Check this out: the Library of Congress has released an exhibition of some of the only color photographs ever taken in Depression-ravaged rural America.

Now, I know, that description doesn't sound very exciting. So, here, just look at this:

Tell me your curiosity isn't piqued right now - that your imagination isn't running a mile a minute. That you don't want to know these guys' names and stories and adventures, or maybe feature them in a tale of hardships and heroics and scrappy underdogs swooping in to save the day.

There's just something about these images that jumps off the screen, grabs you by the lapels, and gives you a good shaking, you know? Especially these next ones:

A woman "wiper" cleans a locomotive with steam, 1943

(Side note: how gorgeous is this shot? I'll tell you: really, really gorgeous.)

The lady wipers taking a lunch break.

This is the shot that really got to me.

Just look at this lady: she's all made up. Her nails are done. She's even wearing a pretty ring. And you know what else she's doing? KICKING BUTT, that's what.

I don't mean to go all rah-rah-hear-us-roar or anything, but I like to think of these ladies as the original girl geeks. Ok, so they weren't into sci-fi or gaming - but they slung power tools and worked a "man's job" during a time when such a thing was unheard of, but - and here's the cool part - they didn't sacrifice their femininity to do it.

I know this is a crazy tie-in, but here's where I'm going: Sometimes we girl geeks feel pressured to dress like the guy geeks do, just to fit in better or get more "geek cred." That's fine if you're like me and want to wear the t-shirt, jeans, and Converse sneakers most of the time anyway. What's not fine is when we let that pressure make us put away the skirts or the lipstick or what-have-you, just to fit in. We're girls. We're geeks. We're both. And the women in these photographs have reminded me to be both, proudly.

Heck, I might just go put some mascara on.

[stepping off soap box] Ok, that's all I had to say. Now, go see the rest of the photos. You'll be glad you did.


  1. Great pictures! I LOVE old photos.

    I like to split the difference in the girl geek fasion spectrum. Cat eye makeup, victory rolls, and Converse. I'm girly as all get out and I can wear 4 inch stilletos with the best of em but I like looking like I could kick some butt if I needed too.

  2. Wow. They are amazing, thank you for sharing them! I love seeing photographs like this which capture what was normal life in another time.

  3. From a photographer's stand point, these images are stunning. From a fellow "geek girl" - preach on sistah! Thanks for sharing :)

  4. I just got back from the geek gaming wonderland that is GenCon Indy, and, frankly, I'm gobsmacked by your conclusions.

    Geek culture is "come as you are" whether that be Cobra Commander, urban professional, or impoverished student. On the other hand the pressure to be feminine is funded by a multi-trillion dollar industry.

    I strongly disagree that geek guys/culture pressure the girls to conform. Brains and humor seem to be the top criteria for being a geek of either gender. What you're wearing is not such a big priority.

    Don't raise a banner against something a lot of geek women treasure; just wear your mascara and realize that no one else is remotely invested in the matter.

  5. I'm a girl geek, and I'm blasted proud of the fact that I wear skirts every day of my life. I think there's an odd part of me who absolutely loves that I can walk into a shop, looking, well, not gorgeous, but definitely feminine, and ask hard-core questions about various geeky and gaming topics.

    Also, the other, historical part of me is squeeing my face off at these pictures. I've worked as an historical re-enactor for years, and, well, I absolutely love seeing stuff like this. It warms the cold bits of my historian's heart.

    P.S. Hi. I've been a lurker for ages. I guess it takes history to bring me out of the woodwork. I heart you and your geek, btw.

  6. I totally reposted this on Facebook. I love those O.S.G.'s (Original Steampunk Girrlz), complete with goggles!

  7. There's a name for that - geek chic. I wish I did it better, but the truth is I like extra sleep in the morning more than makeup.

    Also I really want to find a place to display that steam engine photo, that is too gorgeous.

  8. I've literally... just about 2 minutes ago... posted these to my facebook account... received them in an email and couldn't not share. They're amazing photos, and I'm always shocked when seeing color photos from eras we associate with black and white photography. The photo of the women wipers at lunch gets me... what were their stories - and what happened to them after the war?

  9. I saw this photo set a while back and spent an entire afternoon scrolling through, absolutely transfixed. To me, the color photos really made the people and their stories feel real and immediate. There is a level of remove from black and white photos, almost like they aren't real, from a time long ago that I'd never understand. Seeing these people in color, as if they're standing right in front of you gives you a connection and really allows the viewer to feel like they've been transported back in time. Suffice it to say, I'm a fan. :)

  10. And isn't that the real purpose of the women's movement? The power to choose. Mascara or not, it's a small example, I admit. But it's nice to have the choice.

  11. These pictures are amazing. I'm posting the link on FB as soon as I finish this sentence... these are too good not to share. Thanks for sharing them with us!

  12. @ adrienne - Goodness, I'd hardly call my musings "raising a banner" - and I'm honestly not sure what it is you think I'm raising a banner *against*.

    My point was dress as you like, and don't let the majority pressure you to do otherwise. If you've never felt that pressure, fantastic. It's a bit sweeping to claim none of the rest of us have, though.

    Anyway, hope you at least enjoyed the photos, if not my thoughts on them.

  13. Brilliant post. I'm so sorry you have felt pressure to be less girly. I have copped that in the past from some of the more radical feminist types, but seriously isn't liberation about having the freedom to do whatever you want, including wearing mascara?

    Fortunately, there are quite a few girly geeks around. Most of my friends are geeky and really quite girly. I even own a girly Wolverine t-shirt - he's standing there with his arms crossed, looking all mean and growly surrounded by lovely girly scrolly ribbony bits.

  14. "Some of the few", please. There can be only one, when you're using "only".

    Yes, amazing images.

  15. The Fat Lady Sings Online.

    Actually, you're wrong. Only doesn't only mean one. It is a word that denotes exclusivity. Thus:

    ...the only dogs that can run that fast.

    Those are some of the only...
    That is one of the only...

    Both are correct.

  16. That last photo should have been used in the "Rosie the Riviter" campaign. And now I want a t-shirt with that photo on it.

  17. These pics are awesome! So glad you posted this! Thank you!

  18. I found these pictures yesterday and was just sharing them with my husband. These pictures just blew me away. I had to keep reminding myself that they're not modern "staged" pictures. What a treasure these pictures are!

  19. Nice attack, Adrienne! Geez.

    Jen, I totally get where you are coming from. I am 37. When I was growing up, I was the only girl in the comic shop. I was the only girl playing D&D. My fellow geeks were all guys. I wore Converse and wolverine t-shirts, all boy clothing, 'cause they didn't come in girls!!!
    The guys loved it that I could game and discuss comics and Sci-fi with understanding. But, if I showed up in a girly outfit, they gave me such a hard time!! It was good natured teasing, sure, but I was already a little outside the norm as a girl geek in the south (why was I not teasing my hair to new heights with Aqua Net and wearing denim mini-skirts??). So, I felt so self-consicous when they did that, I quit being girly.
    Now that I'm older, I've rediscovered my girly side and reconciled it with geekdom! I have pink skull and cross bones shirts. I have a sparkly pink Darth Vader sticker on my car. It is all good!

    I agree with lots of others who said that it is the very spirit of geekdom to choose who you want to be. Girly, not girly, Sci-fi or comic.

    If ever you need to borrow my mascara, let me know. I'm in your corner, Jen!!! :) And, thank for posting these pics. I had NO idea they even had color pics during this era. These are gorgeous and sooo enlightening. Thank you!!

    And, @Wolvie Girl... I want your shirt!!! :)

  20. Fantastic photos! After taking a look at the rest of them I posted a link to the article on facebook. Moments later a friend told me about Not as many in color but some amazing historical shots!

    Back to this one - I loved the woman riveter, but I also liked the photos in the article of the family in and around the dugout house in New Mexico. Puts our modern lives and amenities in perspective!

    Thanks for posting!

  21. As a former US Navy aircraft mechanic...a modern day Rosie the Riveter...I am DAMN proud of those women! Because of them I was able to go the route I did instead of a desk or clerical job. The field is still a man's world. And I would always have my nails polished. The maintenance chiefs would always chuckle when I came in with a report--grease covered hands with bright pink polish peaking through.

    All of the pictures are amazing. And, yes, I'd love to hear them tell their tales.

  22. Amazing! And rah rah on sister. Totally agree with you. Thanks so much for sharing these!

  23. I completely get where you're coming from with geek culture! I don't understand why previous commenters took it so personally. I've certainly been made to feel excluded and as if I'm not as 'geeky' as others because I don't wear the 'uniform,' I love fashion, read fashion blogs and I watch ANTM religiously. It does seem, at least to me, that the only acceptable things for geeky girls to wear are either said 'uniform,' or some kind of mega-skin-revealing outfit, neither of which I'm into.

    I do, however, think it's getting much better, especially as we see more celebrities that ooze femininity (Angelina Jolie, Megan Fox) embrace and celebrate their geeky side. Well, those are my two cents, at least. Normally I'm also only a lurker, but I felt the need to rise up against the haters. :)

    ANYways, love your blog, and I LOVE these pictures! I'm now going to be spending next weekend scouring vintage shops for a handkerchief like that for my hair.

  24. Stunning and stirring images. Thanks for sharing them. It's unreal to think of these people as real, to look at buildings and places through their eyes. I get this weird achy longing feeling in the pit of my stomach to be transported there. It's also pretty eye-opening for a Canadian who is fairly ignorant of southern US culture.

  25. Like Jen, I'd have to say that it's wonderful if you've never felt pressured to "fit in" with other geeks by dressing down constantly. But some of us have experienced that pressure and don't enjoy it.

    For those who aren't grokking what's meant by "pressure" here: It's not declarations like "Hey, you should stop wearing skirts!" It's the fact that many geek guys (and honestly quite a few of the gals) just shut down on you when they see makeup or a skirt. The ones like that tend to assume that any sign of girliness is automatically anti-geek; that you probably have the IQ and personality of a turnip; and that you don't know a dalek from a cylon, think there were Jedi in Star Trek, and the only meaning you know for the word "munchkin" involves either small children or possibly The Wizard of Oz.

    I take perverse pride in maintaining a state of geek chic and blowing the minds of folks who don't expect a woman in makeup and heels -- married and with children, no less -- to be able to hold an intelligent conversation on sci-fi and gaming.

  26. Jen, you keep on truckin', riveting, and posting. I think a lot of people cannot comprehend how impressive these photos truly are. In this day and age it is hard to believe there was a time without color pictures as the norm. These pictures are art, but in a way that is not easily explained. There are a lot of feelings and stories that go along with them and not everyone can see that.

    I think it is kind of amusing that the haters are only making your point more meaningful. You have to be you, no matter what others want you to be. Girly, geeky, or both.

    On a side note, I found this link and couldn't help but share it:
    Victorian Star Wars? Yes, please!

  27. @Jen

    I'm old school too. My first home video system was a Pong console and I programmed Battleship into a TI-99 hooked to a cassette player. I've been playing with the boys for decades.

    Girls showing up looking feminine get into the group the same way everyone else does- by being funny, smart, giving as good as they get, and kicking some ass.

    Here's the thing, geek guys (especially those of the young, hetro, unmarried sort) are HAPPY when girls show up.

    Compared to the rest of maledom, geek guys are low-pressure, high-reward. I love that.

  28. Spectacular! Thanks for sharing.

  29. This post made me think of one of my favorite songs of the moment. "In Color" by Jamey Johnson

    "I said, Grandpa what’s this picture here
    It’s all black and white and ain’t real clear
    Is that you there, he said, yeah I was eleven
    Times were tough back in thirty-five
    That’s me and Uncle Joe just tryin’ to survive
    A cotton farm in the Great Depression

    And if it looks like we were scared to death
    Like a couple of kids just trying to save each other
    You should have seen it in color"

  30. I absolutely LOVE these photos! I always wear the makeup and try to do my nails, even if it's just my toesies. My geek boys are awesome and never make me feel like I need to dress like them. :-)

  31. Thank you for this. I grew up playing brass instruments (trumpet and baritone horn) and always felt like I needed to dress like the "guys" to be taken seriously in a mostly male circle. I'm assuming that band geeks are included here? Anyway, thanks for this post. You've made me feel all girly inside :)

  32. Hey - stop apologizing for digging the photographic evidence of the roots of feminism and, thus, the awesomeness we are now allowed to rock without apology. You aren't afraid to be a geek about other stuff, so quit it with the dithering around. [Curse words replaced due to straight up apologetic dithery geekhood.] [But they would have been awesome.] [Slash punk rock.] [Ish.]

  33. I agree :) Maybe that last picture inspired "Rosie"?

    Though makeup and I don't get along very

  34. Hey, I just gave you an award on my blog:

    Love this post. I enjoyed looking at the complete collection of photos, too. So empowering to see some of our history.

  35. Adrienne,

    People who come to the internet to either be offended or start a fight are called trolls. You know very well that Jen's point was valid and well thought out and if there was any confusion on your part, perhaps it would have been a good idea to give the benefit of the doubt. Or, I don't know, maybe try to see an issue from another point of view instead of making a poorly thought out comment.

    And really, if you get your panties in a twist over a blog like Epbot, perhaps the internet isn't the place for you since this is about the most harmless site on the planet.

    And The Frugal Hostess? I didn't see Jen apologize anywhere. Sure, she questioned the comment of the troll but she never apologized for anything she said.

    Sometimes, the internet sucks. Keep on keepin' on, Jen!

    Mother of Three

  36. @jen you find the best stuff! Thanks for sharing this.

    and btw, keep your eyes and ears open for any She's Geeky Un-Conferences in your neck o the woods.

    She's Geeky is a celebration of and resource for women in the STEM fields (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) I went to the recent Mountain View, CA un-conference and it was brilliant. There is a ton of girl geek power out there in which we can delight.

  37. Those photos are incredible (but the link said not found for me?). Seeing them in color makes it seem so much more REAL. I mean, the B&W ones are real, but color brings them to life. Makes me wish I was still teaching history (I was a HS History... US and World... teacher before I had my son and got laid off), because I know students would really enjoy those. Off to google search so I can see the rest!

  38. Mother of Three-

    Funny, I thought the Internet was for discourse not wholesale subscription to a blogger's every comment.

    The mostly male geek community has been very welcoming to me for over 20 years. I didn't find it fair to say they pressure geek girls to conform to their standards.

    Geeks tend to have some difficult years during adolescence that teach them they cannot afford to care what the world thinks of them and their passions. Though teasing is one their primary interactions, they are unlikely to push conformity.

    I'm not the only commenter to say their experience with geek guys is girliness-optional. I just said it first and directly.

    BTW- Frugal Hostess seems to suggest that Jen is dithering in her post, not in the comments.

  39. I've never felt pressure from the geek community to be more 'dudely' or more 'girly'. I am what I am.
    But I do feel the pressure to conform from outside the geek realm.
    People can't understand how I can look so professional, wear pretty jewelry, and do my hair and makeup, and then start a conversation with words like, "I so want to go to a PAX EVENT" or "I am so excited that SyFy is actually showing TNG!"
    It's like they can't get their brains to combine the two words, 'pretty' and 'geek'.
    Sucks to be them, I guess.

  40. Thanks for posting those - and the link to the rest! I consider myself something of a history buff, and those pictures really make that part of history come alive. :)
    Oh, and all those ladies who kicked butt while looking gorgeous during WWII have my utmost admiration.

  41. *sigh*

    Hi all. It's me, john. The guy who gets to moderate comments on this, Jen's "other" blog.

    So to Adrienne...

    I think your mistake came when you assumed Jen was implying that all geek guys treat women that way. They don't. Nobody ever said they did. I believe what she said was:

    "Sometimes we girl geeks feel pressured to dress like the guy geeks do." That's true and whether it's ever happened to you isn't the issue. You response, which I think was a bit harsh, made it seem like Jen was raising the battle cry when it looked to me like she was just trying to be encouraging. I guess what I'm trying to say is, in this post, she wasn't talking to you. She was being encouraging to those who would benefit from her experience. If that's not you, fantastic.

    And to Mother of Three...

    Thoughtful discourse is the way of the interwebs. It doesn't happen very often but there it is. Adrienne jumped hard on something that wasn't meant to be an issue but I think it was a misunderstanding of what Jen wrote and nothing more. She is not a troll. I know trolls.

    Oh, and The Frugal Hostess...

    I thought that Jen was encouraging and kind in this post but I'm a bit biased. The internet is a very harsh place and most of the time, I think there's a very "I don't care who I offend" attitude. I believe Jen is careful in her writing but I believe it stems from an incredible respect for the many thousands of individuals who read this blog and may not share her point of view.

    One last thing: if you write a comment that you know is going to hurt Jen's feelings, just step away from the publish button for a moment and think about it. That's all I ask.


  42. I totally agree. The thing people may not realize is that it's not even very much pressure most of the time. But I don't think men can truly understand how hurtful and/or offensive an innocent, laughing comment like "Are you actually wearing a skirt?" can really be. I've almost stopped wearing skirts and dresses completely over the last few years, mostly because of work and such. The other day when we were shopping, a pretty skirt caught my eye, and I went over to price check and find one in my size. My boyfriend's response was "But you don't even like skirts."

    How unfair is that? Just because I don't wear them often doesn't mean I don't like them. And it shouldn't feel like I'm being forbidden to wear them because I'm not girly enough. I'm still a woman, whether I'm wearing pants or not. And I think it's doubly unfair because men don't really have that sort of choice to make. It's pretty much pants or nothing to them. It makes it hard to relate to what we're going through, and most of the time they don't even try.

    It's nice when they do, but society doesn't really give them the tools to recognize little sexist issues like that. Men have to be unusually aware to pick up on that sort of thing, to the point where we don't really have a right to expect it. All we can really do is point it out when it happens, and hope they understand. It's a conundrum.

  43. I seriously love you for saying that. Not a geek, but still a girl who wants some respect!

  44. I am a hardcore geek, I am also married to a geek. I had the conversation with him the other night that I wanted to dress up, go out and feel pretty. Of course he told me that I am pretty all the time. I had to explain that I wasn't getting all girled up for him, it was for me. Well, we didn't end up going out, I still got all girly then we played BioShock 2. It was awesome.

  45. Those particular geeks-(women working a man's job)-during the war were told after the war to "go home little ladies. Marry, have kids and keep house-where you belong." Some said a lot worse.
    The women in the first pic look like aviators.
    Wonderful post, Jen.

  46. This is fantastic...I had no idea they were releasing colored photos. Love it! From a historian nerd

  47. Heck yeah! Nothing is more fun for me than when someone finds out I'm a geek to the core. Oh.. you don't expect geeks to wear pointy high heels and make up? Well BOOYA!

    These pictures are absurdly amazing. I can't believe there are color photos.. it's surreal.. <3 it!

  48. The Library of Congress has posted a lot of these, and similar ones, on Flickr:

    I second the amazing Shorpy! Like more color photographs, or even "pretty girls".

  49. I totally loved these photos too. And I hate to be the party pooper, but some of the "Rosie the Riveter" photos from WWII were staged to prove that that kind of awesome work didn't make women "unfeminine." I'm going to guess the last one is an example of that. Damn two degrees in Women's Studies - always got to be the let down...

    That does not however, distract from the awesomeness of these photos. The lunch shot is probably what women were actually wearing to that kind of work. In fact, I have a picture of my grandmother a the Long Beach port and she looks pretty dang similar, and she wasn't posing for any beauty shots. :)

  50. Gorgeous, wonderful photos, thanks for sharing.

    As a girl geek, I do feel the pressure to 'boy it up' - but I'm also a shipper geek, and everyone knows how fluffy and fancy we are - so I can be as girly as I like then.

  51. Although I loved the photographs, I am a little offended by your assumption that to be a girl means actually wearing skirts, mascara, etc.

    Being a girl/woman has nothing and I do mean NOTHING to do with what you wear. There is NOTHING wrong with not wearing make-up or skirts and NOTHING wrong with wearing them. There is not a mandatory girl/woman uniform. What clothes you wear and what cosmetics you apply says ABSOLUTELY NOTHING about your sexuality.

  52. Next time you are out in CA, I highly recommend the Train museum in Old Sacramento, which is also an awesome place to mentally step back in history, in this case the to the Gold Rush. I have been studying CA history with my girls this year, and 1) LOVE it--the most awesome stories that we never knew, just like in these pics, and 2) such a great way to imagine what life for us girls would have been like in those circumstances. . .

    ANYWAY I think you would absolutely love the museum--very, very cool trains (including one that looks like like the big black one pictured here), tons of steampunk inspiration, and a step back into history. : )

  53. That's RIGHT! *snaps fingers*

  54. I totally agree with you! Also, I absolutely love both of your blogs, but especially this one. I've been a long time reader of Cake Wrecks (i.e. spending hours going through the pages while at work laughing historically while coworkers and customers thought I was a total nut job) and when this one started I became an fan. I look forward to new ones all the time :)

  55. If I read this correctly (and I think I did), I think what Jen was saying is that you should be who you are, and not feel pressured to be any other way. That goes for geeks, riveters, and everyone else. Just be yourself and do what makes you happy, no matter what anyone else thinks. That's what I took away from it, anyway, and I agree whole-heartedly.

  56. This is amazing. The pictures are amazing, the whole *post* is amazing - thank you for being you, Jen!

  57. WOW! The photo of the women wipers having lunch there is something about it that made me look at it as if it was an oil painting. Something a modern-day Vermeer or Rembrandt would have painted, but its a photo! Stunning! Love it!

  58. I appreciate what you said. I can't tell you how many times I've heard, "MOST girls don't play video games," "wow, you actually look like a NORMAL girl," "you mean YOU like power tools?" or some variant there of. I'm a constant source of laughter for my friends and family for being a girl who has varied interest ranging from cartoons to tools to sewing to video games to dirty and stupid humor to romance. I may not want to spend every Saturday shopping sales at the nearest outlet mall, but I can girl it up as good as the next person with two double X chromosomes while also rocking on a first person shooter game. Well, I don't rock on those, I'm actually quite terrible. But more importantly, I enjoy them all the same. GO GIRL GEEKS!

  59. john (the hubby of Jen)August 9, 2010 at 7:52 PM


    I'm pretty sure Jen never said anything like that. Her normal outfit from day to day is jeans and a t-shirt and I think she looks fantastic. And when she wants to wear makeup or a dress, I think she looks fantastic. I think a few people genuinely missed the point she was trying to make which was that you shouldn't feel like you have to change yourself to fit in. Just be who you are.

    And just so we're clear, I'm a dude and I know quite a few guys who would assume that you knew nothing about gaming or general geekery if you showed up in a dress. Which is a freaking shame. If you've never experienced that kind of judgment, that's swell. But that doesn't mean it doesn't exist.

    Peace out, yo.


  60. wow! those are amazing, thanks for sharing!!!

  61. I, too, was stunned by those photographs. Color processing was still complicated and expensive through the 1940s... Even as a printer I have seen the deep rich colors of many 1950s slides, but nothing earlier.

    (I also grinned at the lady washers lunch and thought that scene should be steampunk reenacted. ;)

  62. Totally a geek girl here too!
    I too adore that I can walk into a computer store and chit chat with the best of them about computers while looking every bit the girl I am.
    It's great that I can do the same at an auto service department as well...they don't really expect my circle skirt wearing long eyelashes to come with a decent knowledge of car parts. *chuckles*

    I'm smitten with the images you've shared!

  63. These are really messing with my head in a Dorothy steps into Oz kind of way. The world had color pre-1950! Inconceivable! I wish they'd taken more care to get more people's names, thank you for the link.

  64. Those are awesome! I really love the last pic - especially the fact that she's wearing a ring.

    I definitely know how it feels being pressured into dressing less "girly." I don't normally wear skirts or heels, but I like them. Invariably, when I do trade my Converse for stilettos, I am met with comments like "why are you wearing that?" Even though "normal" girls often wear skirts and heels, I feel like I've been trained to only wear them if I have a "reason." Which is stupid. (Ugh, sorry for excessive quotation marks there...)

    On the other hand, I am also met with skepticism when people unfamiliar with me find out that I am a gamer/sci-fi geek/etc. Like, I make fine jewelry and sew and paint, which means I am not allowed to do... other stuff? Society can be so frustrating.

  65. That girl is like the original "Rosie the Riveter" (however you spell that)
    --Deborah K.

  66. Like the links to the old photos. I'll have to tell my son about them. He's into that sort of thing.

  67. i wholeheartedly agree!! after spending close to 5 years in art school studying animation with mostly guys, i ended up taking a break after graduation(which is still going on....thank you job market for making it difficult to find art jobs.....but i digress) taking a break after graduation and immersing myself in the world of belly dance!! i still love and geek out to scifi and animation, but now have a super-cool way of releasing my girliness! (PLUS, Tribal Fusion Bellydance is a crafter's dream. you make your own costumes all the time!) SO PROUD TO BE A GEEK GIRL!

  68. I actually wrote my senior thesis for my history degree on this topic: Makeup and beauty for women workers during WWII. Let me tell you, the research was fun. I just wish the LoC had released these pictures ten years ago when I was writing my thesis, haha!

  69. in black and white, they just look like bits of history, but the color just makes them look so REAL. *stares* O_O

  70. Every girl needs to add a little femininity into what they're doing, especially if it's a man's job. These photos are phenomenal; I especially love that it's a woman "of color" in an era where it wasn't widely accepted.


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