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Rosie the Riveter - the Home Front during World War II (Kathryn Swope)

Kathryn Swope - M. P. Moller / Fairchild Aircraft, Hagerstown Click on the MEDIA ITEMS below for more information


Kathryn Swope worked at the M. P. Moller Organ factory in Hagerstown which was converted to producing aircraft for Fairchild. Kathryn is pictured inside the jig.

The April 1943 Look Magazine article described:

How War Came To Hagerstown, To Little Business

SMALL INDUSTRY, backbone of self-sufficient Hagerstown, Md., faced extinction as America girded for war.

MASS PRODUCTION of crack training and cargo planes began at once at the Fairchild plant where space, labor and time were at a premium.

COMMON SENSE, backed by ingenuity and cooperation, resulted in the rescue of the little manufacturer, the end of dangerous delay for Fairchild.

EX-GARAGES, a pipe organ company, toy and girdle factories; etc., leased by Fairchild, began turning out parts for planes with the help of an interfactory car conveyor belt system, using anything from trucks to Crosleys. Men and machines travel from plant to plant, work where needed.

LABOR (Fairchild hires more than half of Hagerstown’s) was being siphoned off by the draft. Methods to get more: in-plant training courses, acceptance of workers with physical defects, expanding nursery schools.

WOMEN constitute 30 per cent of the plant workers, will number 70 per cent soon. Although few mothers are now employed,- improved day nursery facilities will bring them in. Half of vestibule trainees are women.

UNSKILLED WORKERS (90 per cent of the plant's employees are former lawyers, merchants, artists, plain housewives) are taught new techniques by the breaking down of each operation into its simplest form. This is happening all over America.


Kathryn Swope inside jig

Judy Foster - Kathryn Swope's daughter.


Collection Location:
Judy Foster

Original Size:
9 x 11 cms

Aircraft industry--Maryland--Hagerstown--Employees; Fairchild Aircraft Company (Hagerstown, Md.)--History

Western Maryland, 2004

Western Maryland Regional Library
100 South Potomac Street
Hagerstown, Maryland 21740

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