Figureheads and carved decorations
Machine toolsplate edge planer
Plate edge planer
During the wars many women took on traditional male roles in industry. This group of female workers from Alexander Stephen and Sons’ Linthouse boiler shop, kept the shipyard going during the First World War when many men were serving in the armed forces.
The women are dressed in practical, hardwearing clothes that could stand up to the demands of the workplace, including loose fitting trousers, which were still considered risqué outside the workplace. The female foreman stands out from the other workers in her tweed suit and wide brimmed hat.
After the war, the shipyards were repopulated with men returning to their former roles, leaving few opportunities for women to continue using the skills they had learnt during their time in the yards. For many women, work in the shipyards had provided them with a freedom and a purpose that had not been available to them before the war.