A group of women munitions workers employed at the engineering works of Boyd's of Shettleston, photographed during the First World War.
The demand for shells on the Western Front led to a rapid expansion in munitions production. An appeal to women to make good the labour shortage caused by men volunteering for the armed forces met with an enthusiastic response. By the end of 1915 it was estimated that munitions plants were employing three women to every man and it was believed that women’s "sensitive touch" made them particularly suited to fuse making. Wages were generally much higher than those in jobs available to women before the war, although not equal to pay for male workers.
J & T Boyd was founded in 1865. The main products from its Shettleston Ironworks before the war were machine tools and textile machinery.
Reference: Mitchell Library, Glasgow Collection
Reproduced with the permission of Glasgow City Council, Libraries Information and Learning
armaments, engineers, First World War, fuses, iron founders, J & T Boyd, machine tools, munitions, munitions workers, shells, Shettleston Ironworks, textile machinery, wages, Western Front, women workers