Women in the Workplace Cover Campaign September 1943
|Why It's Interesting|
This is the cover of Click magazine, September 1943. It is badly cropped because much larger than my scanner. This was one of the favorite covers in a campaign by the Ad Council that led 200 or so magazines to devote their September 1943 covers to “Women in the Workplace.” The covers considered best, including this one, were gathered in an exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art organized by Roy Stryker, who had headed the photographic campaign during the Depression that resulted in Lange’s immortal Migrant Mother (1936). I confess that I had never heard of this campaign until it was brought to my attention by Austin Porter, a Ph.D candidate at Boston University, who follows this Site. I thank him for his help. After corresponding with him I went on ebay and acquired this and several other of the September 1943 magazines showing working women. This will be part of the World War II exhibition I am organizing for December, the 70th anniversary of Pearl Harbor.
This website seeks to encourage researchers and collectors to discover and study obscure ephemera that document American culture and life. Worldcat reveals that most of the items that I post cannot be found in more than a few research libraries–often none at all. Alternately, research libraries do not bother to catalog ephemeral publications like these. I believe, however, that because these were distributed free, or at nominal cost, to consumers, they were the publications most likely to make their way into homes and be read by large numbers of Americans.
I acquire pre-1960 examples of the kinds of publications that prove so useful when scholars study 19th-Century America. The limited competition that I encounter for them suggests that libraries, which could easily outbid me, have little interest in post-Civil War and 20th-century ephemeral publications in general.
I try to anticipate what materials future historians will find useful. Being an historian first and a collector second, I organized this website to encourage others to do this too—even if this means new competition for me. I am aware that I could be wrong in prizing particular ephemera or even whole classes of ephemera. I may even be wrong to encourage scholars to study obscure ephemeral publications; these may be obscure for good reason.
Ephemerastudies.org will permit me to share with others the information and imagery that I am acquiring, and to benefit from the knowledge, intelligence and experience of other scholars and collectors. Please contact me with your impressions of the site.