The Vital to Victory exhibit features the often-untold lives of women in the rail industry, from early electric streetcar drivers to modern locomotive engineers. Women were initially only granted entry to these jobs during World War I and World War II when male employees were drafted into service. The women were “vital to victory” in that many train companies would have had to shut down without finding suitable replacement employees, which would in turn severely decrease America’s production & efficiency in distributing provisions during a time of war.
Once hired these women proved themselves to be just as competent employees as the motormen. The exhibit features five panels with short interpretive paragraphs and historic images, as well as “reader rails” under each panel highlighting propaganda posters through the years. There is also a display case featuring the tools a motorwoman would have used daily: ticket punch, coin belt, etc.