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Legacies: Collecting America's History at the Smithsonian, by Steven Lubar and Kathleen M. Kendrick
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Augusta Clawson's welding mask, 1943Augusta Clawson's welding mask, 1943

In 1943 Augusta Clawson, a recent Vassar graduate and specialist with the U.S. Office of Education, was given an undercover assignment at the Swan Island Shipyard in Portland, Oregon, to learn why women recruited as welders were quitting as soon as they finished their training. Her two months' experience as a welder became the basis of her book Shipyard Diary (1944). In 1988 Clawson donated her welder's face mask, photographs, and copies of her reports to the Smithsonian, where they have been used to help tell the story of women war workers.

See also: Women's History, Work History, World War II

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