The Women of War: Posters of WWI and II

Prior to World War I, it was unthinkable for "decent" women to work in factories. But as millions of men left the fields and the factories to go to battle, someone had to keep the production flowing. The answer to this dilemma? Convince the public that it was not only respectable, but honorable for women to actively serve the war effort in whatever capacity was needed.

Posters were probably the strongest medium to change the image of women's role in society. Stirring graphics and inspiring slogans urged them to "Join the ATS, and "Share the Deeds of Victory--Join the WAVES." They were exhorted by messages of "Longing won't bring him back sooner...Get a War Job!" and portrayed as strong and competent workers in the factories and armed services.

The Blair-Murrah exhibition of Women at War posters vividly depicts how the war effort changed the way we look at women--and shaped our society in a way never before experienced.