WOMEN'S HISTORY

A LOOK AT UAW WOMEN THROUGH THE YEARS

Walter Reuther distributes packets of leaflets to members of the UAW Women’s Auxiliary Brigade for distribution at the Ford Rouge Plant, two hours prior to the Battle of the Overpass.

INFLUENTIAL WOMEN THROUGH THE YEARS

CLUW member Nellie Besson Hendrix with a cake commemorating the 1979 movie “With Babies and Banners.” The movie told the story of the Women’s Emergency Brigade involvement in the UAW Flint Sit-Down Strike.
Three African American women, who hold signs and wear hats that show UAW support for civil rights, stand in front of the White House during the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, Washington, DC.
The workers of Yale and Towne Factory are escorted out of their building by police officers, Detroit, Michigan. The workers, mostly women, defied a court injunction that demanded their removal from the premises during their sit-down strike. This result was an intense battle with nearly 400 policemen that ended only after the use of force and tear gas were introduced.
Portrait of Olga Madar at her desk.
A scene from inside the strike kitchen showing women preparing food during the Sit Down Strike, Flint, Michigan.
A portrait of Mildred (Millie) Jeffrey.
Nearly 500 wives of UAW members attend a meeting at Solidarity House that discusses the union’s collective bargaining and legislative programs, Detroit, Michigan.
Roy Reuther, an organizer for the United Auto Workers (UAW) and Rose Pesotta, vice-president of the International Ladies Garment Workers Union (ILGWU) and organizer on behalf of the striking auto workers, attend an undisclosed event, Flint, Michigan.
Women hold picket signs to show support for the Kohler Strikers, possibly at the 1955 UAW Convention, Cleveland, Ohio.
Olga Madar, UAW Executive Board Member, supporting Farah boycott pickets around Hudson’s in Detroit.
Women demonstrate in support of striking auto workers during the 1941 Ford Strike, city unknown, Michigan.
Women bring food for strikers shut inside the plants during the Sit Down Strike, Flint, Michigan.
UAW organizers, members of the UAW Local 174 Women’s Auxiliary and their supporters are forced back from the Ford Rouge Plant and into the Detroit Street Railway waiting area by Ford Service Department employees during the Battle of the Overpass.
Walter Reuther distributes packets of leaflets to members of the UAW Women’s Auxiliary Brigade for distribution at the Ford Rouge Plant, two hours prior to the Battle of the Overpass.
Participants in Region 10’s First Annual Women’s Conference look over the program flier and a copy of the “CIO News”. The conference was held at UAW Local 248’s Hall, West Allis, Wisconsin.
The first female member of UAW Local 1112 working on the line.
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A Ford Service Department employee attempts to restrain a member of the UAW Local 174 Women’s Auxiliary during the “Battle of the Overpass.”
Members of the UAW Women’s Auxiliary pass out special editions of the “United Automobile Worker” newsletter to workers at the Ford Rouge Plant, Dearborn, Michigan.
Female war production workers inspect a tank while on a visit at Fort Knox, Tennessee.
The women were part of a delegation of two hundred UAW members from Michigan, Illinois, Kentucky, Missouri, Ohio, Indiana and Wisconsin who spent three days at Fort Knox in order to to experience army life, learn how the the goods they produced are used, and to have a chance to meet with soldiers to talk over the technical problems of production. The trip was sponsored by the CIO and the UAW War Policy Department.
UAW organizers, members of the UAW Local 174 Women’s Auxiliary and their supporters are forced back from the Ford Rouge Plant and into the Detroit Street Railway waiting area by Ford Service Department employees during the Battle of the Overpass.
Four members of UAW Local 174 inspect a machine gun at the Camby Hill infiltration course. The women were responsible for the production of the machine gun back home on the assembly line in Detroit, Michigan.
The women were part of a delegation of two hundred UAW members from Michigan, Illinois, Kentucky, Missouri, Ohio, Indiana and Wisconsin who spent three days at Fort Knox in order to to experience army life, learn how the the goods they make are used, and to have a chance to meet with soldiers to talk over the technical problems of production. The trip was sponsored by the CIO and the UAW War Policy Department.
Members of the UAW Women’s Auxiliary prepare sandwiches in the strike kitchen at West Side Local 174, Detroit, Michigan. The women made over 4,500 sandwiches each day to feed the men on the Ford Rouge picket line.
Female war production workers practice maneuvers on the infiltration course during their CIO sponsored visit to Fort Knox, Tennessee.
The women were part of a delegation of two hundred UAW members from Michigan, Illinois, Kentucky, Missouri, Ohio, Indiana and Wisconsin who spent three days at Fort Knox in order to to experience army life, learn how the the goods they make are used, and to have a chance to meet with soldiers to talk over the technical problems of production. The trip was sponsored by the CIO and the UAW War Policy Department.
Edith Van Horn, founding member of the National Women’s Political Caucus (NWPC), the National Organization for Women (NOW) and the Coalition of Labor Union Women (CLUW), speaks to fellow delegates during an unidentified UAW conference, Detroit, Michigan.
Members of the UAW Women’s Auxiliary gather Christmas toys to distribute to the children of General Motors workers on strike, Detroit, Michigan.
Children play instruments and dance during an event sponsored by members of the UAW Women’s Auxiliary, location unknown.
Members of the UAW Local 174 Women’s Auxiliary stand in the back of a parked streetcar and talk to the men standing outside of the Ford Rouge Plant during the Battle of the Overpass.
Local 6 member Helen Murphy, left of center, dines with African American members of the Women’s Army Corps during a visit to Fort Knox, Tennessee.
Ms. Murphy was part of a delegation of two hundred UAW members from Michigan, Illinois, Kentucky, Missouri, Ohio, Indiana and Wisconsin who spent three days at Fort Knox in order to to experience army life, learn how the the goods they make are used, and to have a chance to meet with soldiers to talk over the technical problems of production. The trip was sponsored by the CIO and the UAW War Policy Department.
Members of the UAW Women’s Auxiliary march down Woodward Ave. and carry signs that denounce U.S. involvement in the Second World War and low worker wages, Detroit, Michigan.
Caroline Davis (left) and Lillian Hatcher at the UAW Women’s Department.
The Women’s Emergency Brigade marches in support of the Sit Down Strikers, Flint, MI, 1937.
A flier lists the benefits and responsibilities attributed to membership in the UAW Women’s Auxiliary and calls for women who are related to auto workers to join.
A war production worker named Virginia receives instruction on how to handle a rifle while on a visit to the firing range at Fort Knox, Tennessee.
The women in this photo were part of a delegation of two hundred UAW members from Michigan, Illinois, Kentucky, Missouri, Ohio, Indiana and Wisconsin who spent three days at Fort Knox in order to to experience army life, learn how the the goods they make are used, and to have a chance to meet with soldiers to talk over the technical problems of production. The trip was sponsored by the CIO and the UAW War Policy Department.
A female war production worker receives instruction on how to handle a machine gun while on a visit to the firing range at Fort Knox, Tennessee.
The woman was part of a delegation of two hundred UAW members from Michigan, Illinois, Kentucky, Missouri, Ohio, Indiana and Wisconsin who spent three days at Fort Knox in order to to experience army life, learn how the the goods they make are used, and to have a chance to meet with soldiers to talk over the technical problems of production. The trip was sponsored by the CIO and the UAW War Policy Department.

Freedom Sisters

“Freedom Sisters” was created by Cincinnati Museum Center and organized for travel by the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service. The exhibition, its national tour, and related programs are made possible by Ford Motor Company Fund. Click the photo below to read more.
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