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Women's History from the
Helaine Victoria Press Collection

Breaktime at the Defense Plant

photo of women dancing the jitterbug in a 1943 factory lounge


Breaktime at the Defense Plant. Women took over hundreds of thousands of factory jobs during World War II, and a few well-publicized plants had pleasant lounges, day-care centers, cafeterias, etc. This scene at an aircraft parts factory, about 1943, was enacted many times over across the country at any spare moment. The jitterbug led the dance craze and one out of every four juke box nickels went for a Glenn Miller platter. Leading big band vocalists included the Andrews Sisters, McGuire Sisters, Helen Forrest, Vaughn Monroe, and Billie Holliday.

© 1979 Helaine Victory Press Inc. A nonprofit educational organization.
Photo: Courtesy of Archives of Labor & Urban Affairs Wayne State University.

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