Additional Resources: Lessons in Labor History, Section 3, Lesson 6, pp. 49-51

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Additional Resources:  Lessons in Labor History, Section 3, Lesson 6, pp. 49-51

  The Impact of World War II at Home: Catalyst for Social and Economic Change

Attn:  Students and teachers:

To assist you in gaining more interest in this chapter, several resources are shown below.  Most can be accessed on line, and links will be provided.  Many resources shown are original, and provide some insights into the lives of workers at the time. NOTE: This section is under construction.  The links below are not yet linked.)

  1. “Wisconsin in World War II,” WISCONSIN BLUE BOOK, 1962, pp. 189-198.  This is a comprehensive, but concise, summary of how the workers and citizens of the State of Wisconsin handled the “home front” during World War II.  To view Click Here .

  2.   Graph: “Membership of Wisconsin Federation of Labor and WisconsinState Industrial Union Council, 1940-1956, and the Wisconsin AFL-CIO, 1958-1982,” from Robert Ozanne, THE LABOR MOVEMENT IN WISCONSIN: A HISTORY  (Madison:  State Historical Society of Wisconsin, 1984) p. 63.   This graph shows the growth of labor unions in the state from 1940 to 1982 . 

  3. Document: “We of Allis-Chalmers,” ca 1942-1945.  From the Wisconsin Historical Society “Turning Points” site, this is an eight page document, partly text and partly visual images, dealing with women workers’ war work.  Click here to view .

  4.  “Joe Ellis to Dear Friend, June 3, 1943, with “Program, Interracial Committee of Urban League and CIO,“ (Milwaukee), June 8, 1943; “ Program, V Mass Meeting,” June 13, 1945, All in Milwaukee Industrial Union Council Papers,  Milwaukee, Wisconsin Historical Society Area Research Center, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Boxes 3 and 4. Here is a hard copy image of these documents.

  5.  ”Nellie Wilson: A Black Woman Meets the Union,” These remarks made at the annual meeting of the Wisconsin Labor History Society in 1989 were reprinted in Darryl Holter’s book, WORKERS AND UNIONS IN WISCONSIN:  A LABOR HISTORY ANTHOLOGY (Madison: State Historical Society of Wisconsin, 1999), pp. 184-185.  Here is a hard copy of those remarks .

  6. “Harold  Christoffel  to Phillip Murray,” June 9, 1944, Milwaukee Industrial Union Council Papers, Box 4, in which the union council proposes that CIO encourage the War Labor Board to take an effective

    1. anti-strike measure in the interest of maintaining maximum production.  See copy of these remarks . 

  7. “Harold Christoffel to Wm. B. Uihlein,” Sept. 28, 1942, Milwaukee Industrial Union Council Papers, Box 3, in which the union council MIUC supports Milwaukee Community War Chest and war relief.  See copy of these remarks

  8. Wisconsin Historical Images website, “World War, 1939-1945 – War Work”  This is an excellent website containing over 200 good images of war work in progress, most of it in Wisconsin, including “Rosie at Heils” in Milwaukee,  glider aircraft production at Consolidated Paper Products in Wisconsin Rapids, workers at Ray-O-Vac Battery in Madison, as well as many others. 


  1. “Women Safe at Work at Allis-Chalmers,” (Milwaukee: Allis-Chalmers Manufacturing Co.,  1942).  This is a 25 page pamphlet (Pamphlet 54-1558).   I think we could just provide a link to the Wisconsin Historical Society’s “Turning Points” site as another student option for investigation of war work  at AllisChalmers. URL is:


  1.  Rose Kaminski – Transcript of interview, covering her wartime work experience at Rex Chain Belt and Harnischfeger Corporation in Milwaukee.Click here for interview text   .

  2. “Wisconsin Stories” – “The Series: The Home Front.”  From Wisconsin Public Television website,  “The Program/Transcripts.”  These transcripts show the social and economic impact of the war though multiple recollections, all brief, including comments from Manitowoc, Badger Ordinance Works at Baraboo, Milwaukee, and elsewhere in the state.  Click on “transcripts,” then click on “Home Front.”

  3. Video film: “Who Paid the Dues” – full video or selection from it on late 1930s and early 1940s, incorporating the 1941 Allis Chalmers strike footage.  This video was created by the Milwaukee Public Library in the early 1980s, and may be accessed at several libraries throughout the state. 

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