Pretty Women Building War Planes via Kodachrome Slides


Can you believe these photos were from the ’40s? These incredibly vibrant and sharp colour photographs were shot by Alfred Palmer for the Office of War Information, a government agency created during World War II to promote patriotism, warn about foreign spies and to recruit women into war work, using Kodachrome film.

Photos by Alfred Palmer via

We just have to share this with all you plane and photography aficionados:

“Golden age of glamour: Incredible colour images from 1940s show perfectly made-up women building B-52 bombers for the war effort”

An incredible selection of colour photographs has shown the US home front at work and at home during Second World War. The images show civilian men and women working side-by-side to produce B-52 bombers in large aviation plants. The shots, from photography archive website Shorpy, are stunning in their detail and lifelike quality, and were shot on Kodachrome film. Although the shots are posed, the soldiers and workers were the real thing.

Hard to believe these photos, mostly at military bases in California and Texas, are aged because they are so crisp and clear! That’s the magic of slide films right there.

Photos by Alfred Palmer via

Between 1939 and 1944, the OWI took approximately 1,600 colour pictures depicting military preparedness, factory operations and women in the work force.

Palmer’s original images are colour transparencies ranging in size from 35mm to 4×5 inches. He used a crude lighting system which focused on the subject within his environment, sometimes creating an extreme contrast in his images.

It’s amazing to find photos like these from archives of long ago, just to show how enduring and historic images can be.

Visit for more information on the artist.

written by denisesanjose on 2012-03-15 #news #vintage #war #women #analogue-photography #kodachrome #alfred-palmer


  1. djramsay
    djramsay ·

    Really great article

  2. herbert-4
    herbert-4 ·

    Good article, but airplanes being built are B-17's.

  3. herbert-4
    herbert-4 ·

    BTW... It was Kodachrome 10 ISO. A well focused and well exposed 35mm slide of this was rated in an article I read at the equivalent of 80 megapixels minimum. A 4X5 would be about 1.2 gigapixels by this standard. We goddamn need Kodachrome back!!

  4. mafiosa
    mafiosa ·

    Amazing. I love the photos. I'm pretty sure one of them is in my Retro Make-Up book.

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