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With the departure of hundreds of thousands of (Credit: New-York Historical Society)

With the departure of hundreds of thousands of men from the workforce and into the armed forces, women took jobs en masse in New York's plants and workshops. By early 1944, women comprised roughly 28 percent of the city’s workforce in occupations ranging from seamstress to welder. The Brooklyn Navy Yard hired women for the first time in its history. Here, 20-year-old Bronx resident Minerva Matzkowitz takes her place at an engraving machine in the Yard’s Ordnance Machine Shop. (Sept. 21, 2012)

Exhibit on wartime NYC

A new World War II exhibit at the New-York Historical Society opening Oct. 5 shows New York City and its surrounding areas were critical to the war effort. Included is the original atom smasher used at Columbia for Manhattan Project, pictures of boats torpedoed by Germans 30 miles off Long Island, a model of a Grumman fighter plane made in Bethpage and oral stories of area soldiers, such as one from Roosevelt.

Beginning in June 1942, at the invitation of
(Credit: New-York Historical Society)

Beginning in June 1942, at the invitation of the board, the New-York Historical Society's two large first-floor exhibition galleries were converted into surgical dressing stations by the American Red Cross. (Sept. 21, 2012)

Immediately after the U.S. entered the war, New
(Credit: New-York Historical Society)

Immediately after the U.S. entered the war, New York became the chief embarkation point for soldiers bound for North Africa and Europe. Passenger traffic in Pennsylvania Station increased 80 percent between 1941 and 1942, as scores of troops arrived in the city from points across the United States. The concourse, pictured here, was crowded with soldiers throughout the duration. (Sept. 21, 2012)

Thomas Hart Benton's painting
(Credit: New-York Historical Society)

Thomas Hart Benton's painting "Embarkation--Prelude to Death" emphasizes the crucial role that New York played as the key point of embarkation for troops and supplies. Benton based this canvas on sketches he made in Brooklyn in August 1942, as the first American troops prepared to depart for Africa. (Sept. 21, 2012)

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This poster, designed by the influential graphic artist
(Credit: New-York Historical Society)

This poster, designed by the influential graphic artist E. McKnight Kauffer, highlights the sense of fear and urgency that descended upon the city after Pearl Harbor. Although New York never saw battle, the city transformed itself for war. (Sept. 21, 2012)

With the departure of hundreds of thousands of
(Credit: New-York Historical Society)

With the departure of hundreds of thousands of men from the workforce an into the armed forces, women took jobs en masse in New York's plants and workshops, many of them moving from traditionally female jobs to higher paid employment. Here, women work on the floor of the Ford Instrument Company, a subsidiary of the New York-based Sperry Corporation that made precision instruments for the military. (Sept. 21, 2012)

With the departure of hundreds of thousands of
(Credit: New-York Historical Society)

With the departure of hundreds of thousands of men from the workforce and into the armed forces, women took jobs en masse in New York's plants and workshops. By early 1944, women comprised roughly 28 percent of the city’s workforce in occupations ranging from seamstress to welder. The Brooklyn Navy Yard hired women for the first time in its history. Here, 20-year-old Bronx resident Minerva Matzkowitz takes her place at an engraving machine in the Yard’s Ordnance Machine Shop. (Sept. 21, 2012)

In 1941, following passage of the Lend-Lease bill,
(Credit: New-York Historical Society)

In 1941, following passage of the Lend-Lease bill, which enabled the United States to supply the Allies, New York became one of the chief ports through which war materiel was shipped to Europe. On Sept. 9, 1941, more than 100 British, Dutch, and Norwegian merchant ships passed through the Narrows at the start of their voyage across the Atlantic. (Sept. 21, 2012)

2nd Lieut. George A. Jones of the 100th
(Credit: New York Historical Society)

2nd Lieut. George A. Jones of the 100th Coast Artillery Regiment, Sault Saint Marie, Ontario, Canada September 1942 - April 1943. (Sept. 21, 2012)

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After being sworn in at New York's City
(Credit: New-York Historical Society)

After being sworn in at New York's City Hall with 413 others, a small group of Navy WAVES and SPARS (the women's reserve of the U.S. Coast Guard) travel by special subway train to their commissioning ceremonies at Hunter College (now Lehman College) in the Bronx. Along with 90,000 WAVES, Hunter’s Bronx campus served as the training site for nearly 2,000 SPARS during the war. (Sept. 21, 2012)

The Women Accepted for Voluntary Emergency Service (WAVES)
(Credit: New-York Historical Society)

The Women Accepted for Voluntary Emergency Service (WAVES) was established in June 1942 as the all-female branch of the U. S. Naval Reserve, and its members served shore duty in the wartime Navy to free male sailors and officers for duty at sea. The WAVES' most important training site was at Hunter College in the Bronx (now Lehman College), and -- as this poster emphasized -- the NYC location was a boon to recruitment. (Sept. 21, 2012)

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