Women painters work at an unidentified station during the First World War.
Photographed by British Official Photographs, 1916-1919
Image no: Ukn
Inventory no: 1998/36521
20th Century London caption: This photograph was taken 1916–19. Before the First World War, a woman would not have been considered for this job of station painter. During the war 16,000 Underground employees joined the armed forces, so from 1915 women were hired as conductors, clerks and maintenance staff to replace them. However, trade unions' opposition stopped women from driving buses or trains. These were seen as reserved occupations for men. The dungarees women wore as work clothes would have been shocking to many people: trousers were not considered women's wear at the time.