Women workers on the fuse assemble line at the Philco plant, Philadelphia, PA, June 16, 1941.
flipFlip to Women and older men employed during WWII at a defense plant in Cressona, Schuylkill County, Pa.
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Two rows of women, sit on opposite sides of a huge table as they work on an assembly line.

Credit: Courtesy of Temple University, Urban Archives, Philadelphia, Pa.

At the height of World War II, women accounted for one of every four war workers. In desperate need of skilled workers, Pennsylvania's State Department of Public Instruction in 1942 set up a War Production Training program for the federal government. Working through 167 school districts, the program trained 750,000 people, including 121,041 women and 55,030 African Americans. At the Philco Radio Corporation's Philadelphia plant, women tested each fuse before its attachment to a shell.

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