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WWII Economy - Unusual Help Wanted Ads

A cousin recently sent me the original obituary of my great Grandmother, dated December 3, 1942. This was greatly appreciated (thanks, Jeff!), but I found an additional bonus on the reverse side, some help-wanted ads from the Salt Lake Tribune, 4 days before Pearl Harbor.

Notice the highlighted text - "Workers in defense industry need not apply"; "Those engaged in war industry need not apply." Now what's all that about, I wonder? I've searched the net extensively and must not be coming up with the right keywords, or else there's not much out there.

It's obviously not discrimination of the same sort as "No Irish need apply" - the war industry is what pulled our nation out of the depression. Perhaps an effort to prevent double-dipping, and thus spread employment around to others who needed it desperately?

I'd love to hear from anyone who knows what this little factoid means.

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Jun. 25th, 2009 03:41 pm (UTC)
It could have been a desire to spread work out, but more likely than not it was an attempt to keep defence workers in their jobs to maintain the flow of strategic goods. This was a big issue, because defence industry jobs were horrible.

They had 12-hours shifts, low wages, minimal break time, and no daycare--a big issue since a lot of the defence workers at the time were women and many were mothers. There are accounts of women leaving their children at movie theatres all day because there was nowhere else for them to go.

So yes, they wanted to keep them where they were instead of letting them go to other, less stressful factory jobs.
Jun. 25th, 2009 03:48 pm (UTC)
Good piece of info - I hadn't considered that angle.
Jun. 25th, 2009 04:24 pm (UTC)
Of course in the UK (slightly closer to the sharp end of German attempts to nullify British manufacturing capacity) there was Govt direction of labour into defence jobs....
If you were in a "reserved occupation" deemed important for the War effort you would avoid call up...
and the nastiest of the directed jobs must have been the "Bevin Boys" sent down the mines instead of into the army....

Y'know I'm glad I was born too late for National Service. I never thought of going into the Army (graduates started as 2nd Lieut) because of the Irish business .. what use is a smart uniform if a "civilan" snipers going to shoot at you?

Of course now.... Dad's Army is all I'd qua;ify for.
Jun. 25th, 2009 05:17 pm (UTC)
My grandfather was in that position--he was an engineer of some sort so he wasn't called up. Might have been safer if he had; my father's family lived in Wembley and had their house flattened by a bomb.

My great-uncle lucked out too; he was conscripted for the RAF and went to Arizona for pilot training. By the time he was ready to be deployed, V-E Day had come and gone so he wasn't needed any more!


The Old Wolf

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