Who Says Girls Can’t Repair Cars? Check Out These Amazing Photographs Of Women Auto Mechanics From The Early 20th Century

Women began finding work when World War I began in 1914; they had to take the jobs of men who had gone to war. A wide range of jobs needed filling. Automotive machines were in large production around this time to supply the United States and other countries with vehicles for war. This was the start of women playing important roles in the automotive industry.

Who Says Girls Can't Repair Cars? Check Out These Amazing Photographs Of Women Auto Mechanics From The Early 20th Century
Not all women on the front lines were part of the military though; many were volunteers offering their help to medical services such as the Red Cross. This woman served as an ambulance driver with the Voluntary Aid Detachment, an offshoot of the Red Cross. Unlike most ambulance drivers, though, those who operated the vehicles on the front lines had to know how to repair and service their cars, as you see this woman doing in this image by Ernest Brooks shot in 1916.

h/t: vintag.es

Who Says Girls Can't Repair Cars? Check Out These Amazing Photographs Of Women Auto Mechanics From The Early 20th Century
British ambulance drivers near the Front in France, 1916.

Who Says Girls Can't Repair Cars? Check Out These Amazing Photographs Of Women Auto Mechanics From The Early 20th Century
Margaret Whittemore and Margery Rose changing a tire on their car in 1916 during a tour for suffrage. They drove 10,000 miles with stops in New Orleans, LA, San Francisco, Seattle, Minneapolis, Chicago, Detroit, and small towns along the way.

Who Says Girls Can't Repair Cars? Check Out These Amazing Photographs Of Women Auto Mechanics From The Early 20th Century
A female mechanic reclines under a car while performing repairs to the vehicle, 1917.

Who Says Girls Can't Repair Cars? Check Out These Amazing Photographs Of Women Auto Mechanics From The Early 20th Century
A member of the Voluntary Aid Detachment (VAD) starts up the engine of her ambulance at Etaples, France, on 27 June 1917.

Who Says Girls Can't Repair Cars? Check Out These Amazing Photographs Of Women Auto Mechanics From The Early 20th Century
VAD’s of the Motor Convoy cleaning cars at bade in Etaples. The ambulances were donated by the Canadian Red Cross. January 1918.

Who Says Girls Can't Repair Cars? Check Out These Amazing Photographs Of Women Auto Mechanics From The Early 20th Century
A female driver lies on the ground as she works on a wheel with a spanner during WWI.

Who Says Girls Can't Repair Cars? Check Out These Amazing Photographs Of Women Auto Mechanics From The Early 20th Century
Driver of the First Aid Nursing Yeomanry cranking up an ambulance during WWI.

Who Says Girls Can't Repair Cars? Check Out These Amazing Photographs Of Women Auto Mechanics From The Early 20th Century
Women’s suffrage gained support during World War I. Due to shortage of manpower domestically, women worked in nontraditional jobs and demonstrated willingness and ability to move beyond prescribed gender roles. Under Carrie Chapman Catt’s leadership, NAWSA secured President Wilson’s backing in 1916, which he gave partly in recognition of women’s war efforts.

Who Says Girls Can't Repair Cars? Check Out These Amazing Photographs Of Women Auto Mechanics From The Early 20th Century
Kitty Brunell works on a Singer Junior 848 cc at the Monte Carlo Rally, January 1928.

Who Says Girls Can't Repair Cars? Check Out These Amazing Photographs Of Women Auto Mechanics From The Early 20th Century
Flapper under a car, ca. 1920s.

Who Says Girls Can't Repair Cars? Check Out These Amazing Photographs Of Women Auto Mechanics From The Early 20th Century
A photo of Rosalie Jones as an auto salesman, ca. 1920s. Brave enough to do what she wanted at a time when it would have been very difficult.

Who Says Girls Can't Repair Cars? Check Out These Amazing Photographs Of Women Auto Mechanics From The Early 20th Century
Kitty Brunell tunes up her AC Ace Sports engine, 1932. Kitty was known as a rally driver and would be the only woman ever to win the British RAC Rally, in 1933. She never raced competitively at any track, but did use Brooklands for tuning and circuit testing her car.

Who Says Girls Can't Repair Cars? Check Out These Amazing Photographs Of Women Auto Mechanics From The Early 20th Century
Mom fixes the family car, ca. 1940s.

Who Says Girls Can't Repair Cars? Check Out These Amazing Photographs Of Women Auto Mechanics From The Early 20th Century
A ‘Wren’ – a woman from the Women’s Royal Naval Service – works as a mechanic, c. 1939 – 1945. Her hat appears to read ‘H.M.S. Daedalus’.

Who Says Girls Can't Repair Cars? Check Out These Amazing Photographs Of Women Auto Mechanics From The Early 20th Century
A motor transport driver from the Women’s Royal Navy Service (WREN’s), repairing the engine of her car. 28th January 1943.

Who Says Girls Can't Repair Cars? Check Out These Amazing Photographs Of Women Auto Mechanics From The Early 20th Century
Women garage attendants at the Atlantic Refining Company. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, June 1943.

Who Says Girls Can't Repair Cars? Check Out These Amazing Photographs Of Women Auto Mechanics From The Early 20th Century
Princess – later Queen – Elizabeth was a truck mechanic in the Women’s Auxiliary Territorial Service, March 1945.

Who Says Girls Can't Repair Cars? Check Out These Amazing Photographs Of Women Auto Mechanics From The Early 20th Century
An ATS girl smoking a Woodbine while working on a Humber during WWII.

Who Says Girls Can't Repair Cars? Check Out These Amazing Photographs Of Women Auto Mechanics From The Early 20th Century
Paris, 1954.

Who Says Girls Can't Repair Cars? Check Out These Amazing Photographs Of Women Auto Mechanics From The Early 20th Century
The Throttle Queens prepare for a drag race in 1956.

Who Says Girls Can't Repair Cars? Check Out These Amazing Photographs Of Women Auto Mechanics From The Early 20th Century
Girls fixing their car, ca. 1950s.

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