This hard hat was worn in Kaiser Company, Inc., shipyards 1942-1945 in Richmond California. Such hats were worn by shipfitters, steel-checkers, inspectors and almost anyone who worked in the ships or skids, including supervisors.
Labor shortages quickly emerged when all able-bodied men enlisted as soldiers. Yet there was widespread opposition to hiring women or minorities. Companies began nationwide recruitment campaigns to find draft-exempt men. They lowered the age limits to hire male high school students. It wasn't enough. The aircraft industry (which was not unionized at the time) led the way immediately after Pearl Harbor, hiring 60 women whose husbands had died in the attack.