A Lady Welder in the summer of 1943 working on SS-243 Bream. Actually what she has in her hand with the acetylene running too high, for effect, is a Straight cutting torch. Viewed in concert with the next picture , it looks like below decks that there is something that they are going to pull out with the overhead chainfalls.
The girl in the open hatch area has a welding hood in her hand. However she is clearly not dressed for welding with those short sleeves. We will give her the benefit of the doubt(although this is clearly a publicity photo) that her next move is to donn some leathers for her upper body, for protection. I have been welding for over 31 years and been certified for unlimited thickness in all positions since 1984. I have often thought about what it would be like ,working side by side with these girls and others who were affectionately called as a group Rosie the Riveteers. Could I hold a candle to them? Would they laugh me out of the shipyard? I hope not. Back in those days Electric arc welding was alive and well, at least with AC. However oxy-acetylene welding was still widely used. If youve ever done it you will no doubt wish you wernt. For one thing its very slow compared to what is referred to as stick welding. Its also extremely hot! It puts about ten times more BTUs into the work than stick and much of this heat comes back on you. Because of that heat it puts undue stress on the steel and causes warping and buckling and built in stresses that later cause cracking. Stick welding is much more efficient, also referred to as SMAW(shielded metel arc welding). Back in those days they used a cellulosic welding rod that is somewhat similar to our 6011 rod that is very rough and spatters alot. There were no 7018 or 7024 or MIG or flux core back then. It was rough , hot, hard work.
Just a little FYI, the temperature of a oxy-acetylene flame , right at the torch tip is about 7,500 degrees farenheit. The temperature at the arc on a welding rod is 10,000 degrees.
There are OLD pilots and there are BOLD pilots but there are very few OLD BOLD pilots. MAG