Secretary of War

On the occasion of Remembrance Day, as we think about the heartbreak and sacrifice of war, these typewriter ads from the 1940s offer an interesting perspective on how even typical business was affected—and the significant impact the war had on women in the workplace.

Uncle Sam wants every typewriter you can spare.

Uncle Sam wants every typewriter you can spare.

Limited wartime typewriter production.

Limited wartime typewriter production.

Twice-welcome is the girl who brings with her not only the will to serve, but the skill to save precious hours of working time.

Twice-welcome is the girl who brings with her not only the will to serve, but the skill to save precious hours of working time.

Any job a woman takes which releases a man is a war job.

Any job a woman takes which releases a man is a war job.

Here's to the girl doing one grand job... your own private "secretary of war."

Here's to the girl doing one grand job... your own private "secretary of war."

To the Girl he left behind him... these are lonesome, waiting days for you. The telephone is strangely silent. No door bell rings. Across a thousand, thousand miles of straining heartstrings, his hand rests on your shoulder. "Keep your chin up," he seems to say. "I'll be back for you."

To the Girl he left behind him... these are lonesome, waiting days for you. The telephone is strangely silent. No door bell rings. Across a thousand, thousand miles of straining heartstrings, his hand rests on your shoulder.

"Keep your chin up," he seems to say. "I'll be back for you."

These ads are from my personal collection and are part of The Typewriter: a Graphic History of the Beloved Machine.