HS – “Making Munitions is a Woman’s Job” During World War I
February 22, 2017 • HS - United States History

Detail of an advertisement from The Bridgeport Times and Evening Farmer. Bridgeport, Connecticut, September 20 ,1918 - Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Library of Congress

by Edward Dorgan
Lewis S. Mills High School, Burlington


'S SNAPSHOT
Topic
Women, World War I, Work
Theme
Gender Roles in Economic, Political, and Social Life
Town
Bridgeport, Statewide
Related Search Terms
WWI, The Great War, Womens Rights, Defense Work, Equality in the Work Place

Social Studies Frameworks

High School – United States History
D1: POTENTIAL COMPELLING QUESTION

What impact did the women of Connecticut have on the Great War (WWI)?

D1: POTENTIAL SUPPORTING QUESTIONS
  • What is the message of the “Every American Woman” advertisement?
  • Who is being targeted?
  • What emotional reactions does the writer seem to be looking for from readers?
  • Why do you think this broadside was published in the Bridgeport Times & Evening Farmer?
D2: TOOL KIT

Things you will need to teach this lesson.

Advertisement from The Bridgeport Times and Evening Farmer. Bridgeport, Connecticut, September 20 ,1918 - Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Library of Congress

Advertisement from the Bridgeport Times and Evening Farmer. Bridgeport, Connecticut, September 20 ,1918 – Library of Congress, Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers

Advertisement from the U.S. Employment Bureau published in The Bridgeport Times and Evening Farmer newspaper on September 20, 1918, page 12, that offers arguments for why American women should work in armament factories during the Great War (WWI).

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Download the Library of Congress – Analyzing Newspapers – PDF.

 

 

D3: INQUIRY ACTIVITY
  1. Students will analyze the U.S. Employment Bureau’s advertisement, “Every American Woman,” and answer the supporting questions.
  2. Students will annotate the words and images in the primary source, including those linked to patriotism and making connections to earlier historical events (previously studied).
D4: COMMUNICATING CONCLUSIONS
  1.  Students will create their own advertisement/poster to recruit residents of Connecticut to assist in the effort to help win the Great War (WWI).
  2. Students will design a WWI monument that recognizes the war efforts of Connecticut residents on the home front.
  3.  Extended Learning: Students will research other primary-source materials (see below for suggestions and links) and write an editorial for the Hartford Courant arguing the importance of the role Connecticut women played in the Great War (WWI).
ADDITIONAL RESOURCES
Places to GO
Most Connecticut towns have at least one war memorial, although they are sometimes “invisible,” even if in plain sight. Is there a monument to WWI veterans in your town? Visit at least one local WWI memorial and compare it to other town monuments, memorials, or historic markers.

Visit your local historical society or library to discover what original materials they have from WWI. You may find posters, photographs, letters, or personal accounts.

Things to DO

Browse Digitized Issues: The Bridgeport Times and Evening Farmer (1918-1922). Library of Congress, Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers, 2010.

Read a Book: Brown, Carrie. Rosie’s Mom: Forgotten Women Workers of the First World War. Boston, MA: Northeastern University Press, 2002.

Search the Connecticut State Library’s Remembering World War I Digital Collections

Search the Library of Congress World War I Poster Collection: Try using the keywords WOMEN or FOOD

Articles to READ

Connecticut Explored: Greenwich Women Face the Great War: Our Contributions from the Home Front by Kathleen Eagen Johnson, Winter 2014–Winter 2015

ConnecticutHistory.org: A New Source of Farm Labor Crops Up in Wartime

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