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Monday, March 11, 2013

Female doctors, Ambulance drivers, Canteen workers and more!

American female doctors volunteered to serve during World War One but, unlike their male colleagues, received no officer rank or pay. The women became "contract surgeons." They did wear a uniform, seen at left. 
From the blog of the American History Museum in Washington D.C. comes this description:
"The Colonial Dames Collection includes this uniform worn by an army contract surgeon. Women doctors were not allowed to join the Army Medical Corps. Only the Army Nurse Corps accepted women. But the army did issue contracts to a small number of female physicians, who remained civilians even though they worked in uniform."
Other women served driving ambulances, working in canteens, and as cooks and laundresses. They joined the Red Cross, YMCA, Salvation Army or other organizations many of which sent them abroad. As I stated in my earlier post, others came abroad to fill General Pershing's explicit need for bi-lingual French-English telephone operators. These women became known as the "Hello Girls!"

Here from the same blog entry comes this description of many women's uniforms:
These uniforms are in "...the Arts and Industries Building of the U.S. National Museum during the early 1920s. This case held four Red Cross uniforms, left to right: Motor Corps driver’s skirt and tunic; Motor Corps driver’s uniform; Motor Corps driver’s overcoat; Foreign Service uniform."


Among those who increased their ranks specifically to cater to American troops going abroad was The Salvation Army. Making bread and coffee, these volunteers also began making a now famous recipe for "Doughnuts!"
From their site, here is one woman whipping up those goodies!

And here are a few of the women of the Red Cross at a canteen station. This picture comes from US National Museum of Medicine. 

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