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Womens' Contribution to the WWI War Effort

 When the First World War broke out in 1914, many men were sent into battle to halt the advances of the Central Powers. This meant that the women were sent to work in factories to support the war effort, and this was especially true in the recently industrialized United Kingdom.

 

Furthermore, women took over roles as transit workers, police, bank tellers, and firefighters in addition to being the presence on factory floors producing artillery shells, gas masks, tanks, ships, planes, mines, and various munitions.

They were exposed to strenuous, difficult, and hazardous conditions. For instance, women in munitions factories had their skin turn yellow from regular exposure to TNT, and many, in fact, died from their exposure to this and other deadly chemicals.

Sadly, British women participating in the war effort were paid less than their male counterparts in equivalent roles, and many of them were fired post-1918 when war veterans began to return home from the front lines. Take a look at these photos capturing a difficult, yet significant era for humanity:

 
Click on images to enlarge
 
Rubber workers in a Lancashire factory make mouthpieces for gas masks.
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Source: University of British Columbia Library
Lime is loaded into wheelbarrows by chemical workers.
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Source: University of British Columbia Library

A worker hauls ammonium nitrate cake out of a chemical plant dryer.
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Source: University of British Columbia Library

At work in a chemical laboratory.
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Source: University of British Columbia Library

Welding a frame tug for a military airplane.
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Source: University of British Columbia Library

Pulling skins out of a lime pit in a tannery.
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Source: University of British Columbia Library

Workers in a tannery.
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Source: University of British Columbia Library

A Royal Naval Service instructor drills gas mask-wearing recruits.
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Source: University of British Columbia Library

Mine net workers wire floats together.
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Source: University of British Columbia Library

Workers prepare for the construction of a concrete ship.
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Source: University of British Columbia Library

A factory producing parts for boilers and condensers.
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Source: University of British Columbia Library

Women hard at work crafting electrical fittings.
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Source: University of British Columbia Library

A 20-ton crane operator with her work machine.
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Source: University of British Columbia Library

Gear planers are made at a factory in Sunderland.
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Source: University of British Columbia Library

 
A worker uses a circular saw in a factory.
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Source: University of British Columbia Library

A worker drills holes in a piece of metal for an airship shed rib.
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Source: University of British Columbia Library

Workers shovel dirt in a dressing shop.
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Source: University of British Columbia Library

War Office vehicles get a lick of paint.
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Source: University of British Columbia Library

Hauling wood in a lumber yard.
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Source: University of British Columbia Library

Earth is hauled away prior to the installation of hydraulic pumps.
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Source: University of British Columbia Library

A worker inspects an electric motor.
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Source: University of British Columbia Library

Airplane wings are constructed and treated prior to assembly.
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Source: University of British Columbia Library

Artillery shells being pieced together.
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Source: University of British Columbia Library

Workers add a lick of paint to steel beams.
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Source: University of British Columbia Library

Sodium nitrate is shoveled into a skip.
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Source: University of British Columbia Library

Work underway in a brass fittings shop.
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Source: University of British Columbia Library

A crane operator with a heavy load.
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Source: University of British Columbia Library

 

Content and Image Source: Mashable Retronaut

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