During the First World War women had to take on much of the essential work left by the men who joined the forces. This picture would have been taken to publicise the important role of women in wartime. A group of women are painting the outside of an Underground station. They are wearing trousers with long over-jackets which were supposed to 'protect their modesty' whilst allowing them enough movement to do the job. -- WWI propaganda photograph (Great Britain, UK), c. 1915 - 1918.
Though largely ignored in America's popular history of World War II, black women's important contributions in World War II factories, which weren't always so welcoming, are stunningly captured in these comparably rare snapshots of black Rosie the Riveters.