Minnesota Woman Working at the Twin Cities Ordnance Plant
Between 1941 and 1976 (with some pauses between WWII, Korea, and the Vietnam wars), the United States Army operated a munitions factory about half an hour from downtown Minneapolis, in New Brighton, MN. Originally the Twin Cities Ordnance Plant, renamed the Twin Cities Arsenal in 1946 and then finally as the Twin Cities Army Ammunition Plant in 1963, its workers produced small arms ammunition. Unsurprisingly, it was at its most busy during World War II, when it was staffed almost exclusively by women. The women working there were indispensable to the war effort, not just in the munitions they produced, but in their likenesses.
All of the above photos were printed in Minneapolis newspapers in 1942 and 1943 both as simple reporting, but also as propaganda: the United States had resources, was producing munitions like mad, and the work was being done by strong, attractive women.
This post was researched and written by Special Collections Intern James Morrow. James spent the summer working on various components of the Minneapolis Historic Photo Collection in the Hennepin County Library Special Collections.