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Victory worker. [volume] : (Seattle, Wash.) 1942-1943
Place of publication:
Seattle, Wash.
Geographic coverage:
  • Seattle, King, Washington  |  View more titles from this: City County, State
H.W. Hargood
Dates of publication:
  • Ceased in 1943?
  • Vol. 1, no. 1 (June 1942)-
  • English
  • Seattle (Wash.)--Newspapers.
  • Washington (State)--Seattle.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01204940
sn 88085651
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Victory worker. [volume] June 1, 1942 , Image 1


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The Victory Worker

The Victory Worker (1942-43) was published and edited by Harry Washington Hargood in Seattle, Washington. He was a local businessman, with relatively little experience in newspapers. His main industries of focus were gold-mine development and wholesale importing for candy and gifts. However, as the United States began involvement in the Second World War, these industries suffered. Production of non-essential services was limited, and any operational industries were designed to support the war. Enterprising Hargood took to newspaper printing with an emphasis on furthering the war effort and fostering pro-war ideologies in the Pacific Northwest. The United States joined the war in December of 1941, and by June of 1942, Hargood had released his first issue of the Victory Worker from the heart of downtown Seattle with the caption reading, "100% American."

The paper circulated monthly and focused on the home front and war-worker issues. The first several issues were an ambitious 12 pages in length, then down to eight pages by the end of the first year and reduced to four in 1943. A modest 50 cents for 10 issues was supplemented by plentiful ads created to appeal to hardworking citizens, all coordinated by advertising manager Roy Smith. Headlines encouraged the "victory workers" of Seattle and King County, primarily working in the shipyards, to continue stepping up production levels for the war effort.

The first issue included a letter from the Washington State Governor, Arthur B. Langlie, expressing his support for Hargood's paper and Seattle's victory workers, and the next issue included support from First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt. With headlines like, "Dedicated to Victory!" and "Sharpening our Axes for the Axis," Hargood's paper became a local and national staple of the war effort on the home front. Many articles focused on new residence being built in Seattle to address the housing shortage. A surge of 100,000 new residents, eager to support the war effort in the shipyards and related industries, grew the northwest port city to over half a million people within a year. New job opportunities and transportation options for carpooling or a new car to get workers to their jobs on time were featured.

Hargood and his wife, Blanche Lillian Hargood, who had worked in the advertising department of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer since 1930, left their respective newspaper positions in 1943 to return to their lives as wholesale business owners in downtown Seattle. The Victory Worker changed owners with the August 20, 1943 issue with a new publisher, E.S. Willis, and editor, Jeanette Testu. Jeanette Testu was already an active politician for the Democratic Party in Seattle and was elected to the state House of Representatives for King County, district 34, for seven terms between 1942 and 1962. These issues of the Victory Worker shifted focus to report stories of women's active participation in war efforts rather on just the domestic front. Testu was an advocate for women's wages in the workplace, who told the House of Representative, "It has taken a World War to make men realize that women are as capable, as useful, and as necessary to the state as men are." However, the newspaper's focus on women's contributions to the war effort was short-lived, as it appears only another two issues were printed under the new leadership before it ceased publication.

Provided by: Washington State Library; Olympia, WA