Bombshells

realbombgirls, circa 1943

The term bombshell is a fitting word for the women of the WWII era. It refers to the explosive effects that women had on the viewer based on one’s beauty. It also connects to their war jobs at munition factories. They produced militaryequipment at top speeds. Factories became a source of liberation for young women who ventured out into the world. According to the National Women’s History Museum “wages in munitions plants and aircraft factories averaged more than those for traditional female jobs. Women abandoned traditional jobs, particularly domestic service, to work in war production plants offering 40 percent higher wages. Women who entered war production were primarily working-class wives, widows, divorcees, and students who needed the money.”[1] In women’s new liberated life, they learned a manufacturing craft and aided the Ally cause.

These new gatherings tested the former social limits for male and female relations. Louise Johnson, who worked at Defense Industries Limited in Ajax, Ontario, she met her future husband during her shift. When they finished their shifts, young adults would often gather in the dancing halls to relax and celebrate their daily success of living and trying to sustain other lives abroad. In these night scenes, big band music would create a sensational environment in which to jive and demonstrate other skills such as flirting. These relationships would later be the foundation of the new generation of Baby Boomers who solidified their unions in marriage. The years of rationing and waiting would cause an economic surge in the post-war years. Consumption levels would boom since an incredible amount of new households were created which needed all the basics such as appliances, furniture, and other décor. But in this realm, women would be requested as their civic duty to return home and serve their family. America desired a “return to normalcy” in the post-war years.

[1] https://www.nwhm.org/online-exhibits/partners/26.htm

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