Women in World War I Yeomen - Washington DC
Part I



World War I's rapid expansion of the Navy and War Departments produced a massive building boom in the Nation's Capital. Dozens of quickly-constructed "temporary" buildings were erected in Washington, D.C., parks and other open land to house the huge bureaucracies that administered the war effort. The most substantial of these structures, the Main Navy and Munitions Buildings, stretched along the south side of Constitution Avenue, NW, from 17th to about 21st Streets. Built of reinforced concrete and brick, with extensive glass windows, these two buildings were occupied in 1918. Many members of their initial work forces were Yeomen (F).

After the conflict's end, most of the wartime "temporary" buildings were gradually demolished. However, Main Navy and Munitions lasted far longer than intended. They served through the Second World War, the Korean War and most of the Vietnam War. In 1970, much to the amazement of the many "old hands" who had seen such decisions come and go uneventfully in the past, the Nixon Administration decided to tear down the old buildings and actually did it. Constitution Gardens park and part of the Vietnam War Memorial now occupy their sites.

This page, and those linked from it, feature images of Yeoman (F) and other Naval personnel and civilians at work in Navy Department offices in the Main Navy and Munitions Buildings, during 1918-1919. These photographs provide a fine visual representation of early 20th Century office conditions, personnel and equipment.

Additional images of Yeoman (F) working in the Main Navy and Munitions buildings

Additional images of World War I era Yeoman (F) Yeomen (F) - Activities

Selected imagesWorld War I era Yeomen (F) - Overview


Click photograph for a larger image.

Photo #: NH 52900

Navy Department, Washington, D.C.


Military and civilian personnel in a Navy Department office (apparently a mail room) in the Main Navy or Munitions Buildings, in 1918 or early 1919.
Most of the women in the foreground are Navy Yeomen (F).
Note typewriter on desk at center, mail "pigeonholes" in the left background, and Victory Liberty Loan poster on the wall in the center background.

NHHC Collection

Online Image: 123KB; 740 x 605

 
Photo #: NH 52905

Navy Department, Washington, D.C.


Military and civilian personnel maintaining files in a Navy Department office in the Main Navy or Munitions Buildings, in 1918 or early 1919.
Many of the women present are Navy Yeomen (F).
Note hatracks around the office, with many Yeoman (F) uniform hats on them.

NHHC Collection

Online Image: 134KB; 740 x 595

 
Photo #: NH 52906

Navy Department, Washington, D.C.


Military and civilian personnel in a Navy Department office in the Main Navy or Munitions Buildings, in 1918 or early 1919.
Many of the women present are Navy Yeomen (F). There is at least one male Chief Yeoman (left center, middle) in the group and what appears to be a civilian supervisor (standing, by pillar).
Note calculating machines at several workstations, spool of red tape on the desk in the right foreground, drop cords from ceiling electrical fixtures and lockers along the wall in the distance.

NHHC Collection

Online Image: 145KB; 740 x 605

 
Photo #: NH 52908

Navy Department, Washington, D.C.


Military and civilian personnel in a Navy Department office in the Main Navy or Munitions Buildings, in 1918 or early 1919.
Many of the women present are Navy Yeomen (F). There are several officers in the room, including a lieutenant commander (with an overseas chevron on his sleeve) at right.
Note open windows, many with sunscreens installed, and desks designed for filing purposes.

NHHC Collection

Online Image: 131KB; 740 x 605

 
Photo #: NH 52909

Navy Department, Washington, D.C.


Military and civilian personnel in a Navy Department office in the Main Navy or Munitions Buildings, in 1918 or early 1919.
Many of the women present are Navy Yeomen (F). There are two male Chief Yeomen at the first two rows of desks and typewriters on most desks.
Note name tag for "Miss Anderson" in the lower right foreground.

NHHC Collection

Online Image: 150KB; 690 x 640

 
Photo #: NH 52910

Navy Department, Washington, D.C.


Military and civilian personnel in a Navy Department office in the Main Navy or Munitions Buildings, in 1918 or early 1919.
Many of the women present are Navy Yeomen (F).
Note hanging files and paper sorting racks on some desks, electric fans on pillar brackets and Victory Liberty Loan posters on the pillars in the center of the room.

NHHC Collection

Online Image: 134KB; 740 x 625

 
Photo #: NH 52912

Navy Department, Washington, D.C.


Military and civilian personnel in a Navy Department office in the Main Navy or Munitions Buildings, in 1919.
Most of the women present are Navy Yeomen (F).
Desk in center bears a name tag for "Miss Carlisle" and has a wickerwork wastebasket beside it.
Calendar on the wall (upper right) is for March 1919.

NHHC Collection

Online Image: 102KB; 740 x 615

 


For higher resolution images see: Obtaining Photographic Reproductions



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