Work Without War

Image: Conversion. Toy factory. Stephanie Cewe and Ann Manemeit, have turned their skill from peacetime production of toy trains to the assembly of parachute flare casings for the armies of democracy. Along with other workers in this Eastern plant, they have turned their skill to the vital needs of the day, and in many cases have seen to it that the machinery they used to use does Uncle Sam’s most important work today. Here, they are assembling parachute flare casings, using the same electric screwdrivers they formerly used to assemble the locomotives of toy trains. A. C. Gilbert Company, New Haven, Connecticut United States. Office of War Information. Overseas Picture Division. Washington Division; 1944. LC-DIG-fsa-8e10865


Unemployment lines in ’29 stretched from sea to shining sea
‘Round here they shuttered the five and dime downtown
And mothballed the toy factory
And “no work today” became the name of the game
For an army of idled men
Cooling their heels and clinging to hope
While one year turned into ten

Then when the bad news couldn’t get no worse
On account of the economy
We got word bombs and bullets were flying
In the Old Country

Now there’s rumors of a draft afoot for our fathers and our sons
And you know if they’re gonna see trouble they’re gonna need guns
So they’re clearing years of dust away on that factory floor
But why can’t we put people to work without going to war?

The bombs fell on Pearl Harbor so now our die is cast
And it’s anybody’s guess how long the fighting’s gonna last
So the hiring lines are open to the jobless and the poor
But why can’t we put people to work without going to war?

From Montecassino to Guadalcanal godspeed to our boys
And here’s to their sisters putting tanks together with tools that once made toys
Now there’s overtime on offer and prosperity in store
But why can’t we keep people working without waging war?