By 1917 the First World War was affecting the British Public’s morale but munition production reached its peak in this year.
Profiting from the war effort by company owners or female munition workers, in particular was discussed in vociferously disapproving tones.
Cartoons appeared in publications such as Punch ridiculing the class, manners and extravagant taste of those working in munition production.
Towards the end of the war when women were being ‘laid-off’ in favour of the returning soldiers editorials published in the Carlisle press described former munition workers attending employment offices dressed in fur coats.
This talk will discuss some of the illustrations and attitudes towards this group of working class women whilst considering whether their purchases did reflect a new financial security or if their future was actually more precarious.