World War II significantly reduced the number of men in the civilian work force, and women around the country stepped into jobs traditionally reserved for men. Mrs. Dorothy Lucke (1909-86) was such a woman, and this color portrait of her has become emblematic of the era. She broke the "grease ceiling" by becoming an engine wiper, as indicated by her stained right hand. She leans against a locomotive wheel at the Chicago & North Western's Clinton, Iowa, yard. When servicemen returned to their jobs, many women like Mrs. Lucke lost their jobs. She later worked for the Clinton Garment Company for 25 years. Her husband, Albert Lucke, died in 1948, and in 1985, she married Isaac Leslie, who survived her. The photographer was Jack Delano, who worked for the federal government's Farm Security Administration-Office of War Information, a New Deal and World War II agency that hired creative young photographers to document ordinary American lives and living conditions. Delano traveled the country, photographing the war at home, particularly railroads. FSA-OWI photographers pioneered in using color film.
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