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Myths and Mermaids
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Life in Port
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Going to Sea
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Lighthouse Keepers
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Changing Roles for Women
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Women in the Military
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Women in Wartime Production
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Early Yachting and Racing
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Women and the Sea in the 20th Century
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In This Chapter

World War I

World War II


World War I

With so many men on active duty, women became key to wartime production in factories and shipyards across the country. Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock
Women Filing Turbine Blades at Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Company
July 1918
E. O. Smith, photographer The Mariners' Museum, Newport News
Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Collection 470,
Newport News Shipbuilding Record Prints

Company began employing its first women in July 1918, when about fifty women were hired to file the burr edges on hundreds of thousands of blades for steam turbines. All the women were assigned to one floor of a building at the yard, and the area was cleaned and painted before they began work. When the war was over, men gradually took their places again.

Rose Weld
The Mariners' Museum Research Library and Archives,
Gift of Miss C. W. Evans
Rose Weld (1877-1962) worked as a draftsman at Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock during World War I. She had been an honor graduate of the elite Massachusetts Institute of Technology and later became senior draftsman of Moore's Dry Dock Company of Oakland, California.

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