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Didja Know-at One Time?

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  • Member since
    October 2019
  • From: New Braunfels, Texas
Didja Know-at One Time?
Posted by Tanker-Builder on Monday, May 30, 2022 12:00 PM

Now here's one for the History Books!

           There was a time. Men and Boys were considered to clumsy and lacking in finess to build display models for Companies like Revell and others!! Yup, it was considered to be somewhat disturbing if Men or Boys wanted to build display models for such companies. Many folks didn't even realize that manufacturers had such policies.

            I found out by chance. When I was in San Diego I realized that I would be discharged from the service in Long Beach. Not far from Venice is where I would be living. I had put out resumes' to varying companies because the Wife and I had decided to bring up the Girls in the sunny climes of California.

           The place we were going to buy was just outside Venice and it was a nice suburban neighborhood with good schools nearby. So I started to get replies to those aforementioned resumes'. Next I went on a job interview to one of these companies related to the plastics industry. This turned out to be the job I got.

            I did get a written reply to one resume' that sat me back on my heels. It was from the assistant director of personnel at a place we are all familiar with. Revell Inc. in Venice, California. I was informed that although I had the educational qualities for the job, there was a policy of only hiring Females for the position because of the delicate nature of the work.

            The work? Building display models that would used for Photo and Static displays for Hobby Shops of the Models they manufactured! This after I had shown photos of my Work and photos of my Fisher Body Craftsmans Guild Winning Car!( Not fiirst Place, but a scholarship winner all the same) At the time I had already, even while in the Service, built display models for Matson Navigation, Including a 1/72 scale model of the Hawaiian Pilot in wood! Remember the "Pilot" was one of Revell's early models of a Commercial Civilian ship!

         I was shocked! to say, and the least kind of puzzled by that. Most modelers I had met over the years were Men and some did some pretty finicky models, especially fully rigged sailing ships and other esoteric types of Sail powered craft. The Show models and Production models for intended new Builds at Shipyards and Aircraft factories were being built by men! Most ships in Bottles were "Man" made

          I guess You could say, I was experiencing a bit of corporate bigotry! During the "Big War" we had "Rosie the Riveter" but you mean to say men couldn't do fine work? In those days, men designed the things, and women built them! Now remember, here we  a few years after Viet Nam! and a company still had that kind of policy!

          When I contacted the department by Phone I was informed that because the department was fully staffed by women, a man would be a disruptive influence to the ladies and therefore men were NOT considered for positions in that department! I could work on the Molding, Packing and Line Jobs. and there, she assured me I would be happy! I was aghast. Who ever heard of such a thing?

          I took a long time getting over that! Meanwhile I had secured great employment at Avecor Plastics in L.A. They manufactured the colored pellets used in the industry for molding and we had contracts with Both, Revell and Cox industries and smaller orders for Monogram, et al. I wound up in the laboratory at the company making and assuring the quality of the pigments were up to the color standards for these firms.

            I had developed contacts through the industry and discovered that Prior to and After W.W.2 that many companies Kept those departments specifically staffed with the ladies because of their attention to detail and finess in handling the finished product! This included the painting departments that did the waterline colors for the larger sailing ship Models as well.

            I knew my wife was a considerately talented model builder/painter in her own right, But, even she was surprised by that. That's The way it was in the world in the Sixties(Early). Something to think about, right? 



  • Member since
    May 2011
  • From: Honolulu, Hawaii
Posted by Real G on Monday, May 30, 2022 12:30 PM

That's quite a revelation TB, considering the target market were boys.

There was an article in Model Graphix magazine about DML's pre-built model operation, and one of the things they mentioned that most of their workers were women for the same reason Revell had.  I'm not sure if they hired men, but being a cynic I bet they didn't, just to keep the wages low. Devil

Having had a close look at DML's pre-built armor kits, I have to admit their assembly and paintwork were as good or better than the average modeler.  The German camouflage application was especially impressive.

“Ya ya ya, unicorn papoi!”

  • Member since
    October 2019
  • From: New Braunfels, Texas
Posted by Tanker-Builder on Monday, May 30, 2022 2:28 PM

Hi RealG!

      Yeah! you sure have that straight! I also found out that the painting for A.M.T. Promos was done by Ladies too! Ya know the side trim and different colored tops!

  • Member since
    August 2005
  • From: Seattle, WA
Posted by Surface_Line on Tuesday, May 31, 2022 2:51 AM

One of the greatest drivers for my model-building interest wasa display of some of those mfr promos.

I'd gotten started building the $.29 Lindberg and Pyro kits in 1961 or so, but never aspired to the "big" kits from Monogram that cost more than a buck.  In late '62, after the Seattle World's Fair wrapped up, some of the display halls were used for something or other.  One of them had a display be Monogram, with the "expert-built" kits on their little cardboard bases, with the marketing guys' info about the kits.  Since the display halls were now free to enter, I went down there a few dozen times and continued to drool over those wonderful models.  The ones I remember best were the custom Ford  apickup ("Orange Crate"?) and a blue '55 Chevy. 

Sixty years later, I still haven't kicked the habit.  So, T.B, if you were involved with preparing those display models, thanks!


  • Member since
    March 2022
  • From: Twin cities, MN
Posted by missileman2000 on Tuesday, May 31, 2022 8:32 AM

On the other hand, at the start of WW2 the AAF had a dire need for recognition models, and contacted a lot of model clubs, which were almost exclusively guys. I knew a couple of guys a few years older than I that got in on that program.  A couple of years later they got a company to mass produce them with molds and cast hard rubber.  By the end of the war they had way to many and they went surplus.  My dad was in CAP and picked up several for me.



  • Member since
    November 2009
  • From: SW Virginia
Posted by Gamera on Tuesday, May 31, 2022 11:13 AM

T.B. did you ever think of just dressing in drag.... Propeller

"I dream in fire but work in clay." -Arthur Machen



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