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America's History in the Making

Resource Archive: Search Results

"Your Children and What to Do with Them"

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Portland Public Schools, HANDBOOK FOR NEW WOMEN SHIPYARD WORKERS (1943). Courtesy of the Oregon Historical Society, #Mss 2547.

Creator Portland Public Schools
Context World War II brought women into the nation's defense industries in large numbers.
Audience Women who considered work at Kaiser Shipyards in Portland, Oregon
Purpose To orient women to work at Kaiser Shipyards

Historical Significance

In 1943, Portland Public Schools created this handbook that addressed how life would change for women who chose to work at the shipyards. This section covered the issue of how to find daycare. For the mother, the concern was how her absence affected the children's upbringing; at the same time, employers sometimes had to balance unpredicted absences with trying to meet their production levels. The county and state provided childcare centers, but many mothers hesitated to enroll their children because a stigma left over from the Depression that equated group childcare with poverty and welfare. To remedy the situation, Henry Kaiser built two childcare centers that operated around the clock and cared for up to 450 children a day.

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