NES models with Mildred Burrage, South Portland, 1943

Contributed by Maine Historical Society

NES models with Mildred Burrage, South Portland, 1943

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Mildred Burrage contributed to a campaign for women workers' safety at the New England Shipbuilding Corporation (NES) in 1943, including painting posters and organizing a safety fashion show.

NES workers and fashion show models (from left to right) Carmaleta Haley, Irene Howard, Ella Bartlett, Rowena Gardner, Reta Martin, Madelyn Gross, Frances Spaltro, and Sally Warning posed with Mildred Burrage (at the far right) in South Portland.

Frances Spaltro Oddi worked as a welder at the shipyard, and joined the Women's Army Corps in 1944. Her 2010 obituary states she received a "Rosie the Riveter" award for her work at the shipyard during World War II.

Burrage’s report included descriptions of the outfits, mimicking fashion scripts of the time:
"First came a girl wearing a complete welder’s outfit, leather jacket, with no back for hot weather, worn over a blue shirt, dungarees and leather chaps, safety shoes with concealed metal toes, heavy gloves. Over a closely tied bandana, she wore the welder’s bonnet with its black glass window. The second girl showed a practical grey coverall with silvered but tons, and a red, visored safety cap. Then came a lighter weight green coverall, sleeveless, cut in a deep V to the waist, and worn with a blue, green and red plaid shirt. A heavy brown silk hair-net with a brown visor with a little green bow completed this outfit."

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About This Item

  • Title: NES models with Mildred Burrage, South Portland, 1943
  • Creation Date: 1943
  • Subject Date: 1943
  • Location: South Portland, Cumberland County, ME
  • Media: Ink on paper
  • Local Code: Coll. 2494/B31F1
  • Collection: Mildred Giddings Burrage collection
  • Object Type: Text and Image

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For more information about this item, contact:

Maine Historical Society
485 Congress Street, Portland, ME 04101
(207) 774-1822 x230

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