The Shell and Flame U.S. Army Ordnance Corps / Womens Ordnance Workers insignia die cut sticker
The sticker: The insignia for the US Army Ordnance Branch, and the oldest branch insignia in the US Army. This insignia what was also used for the Women Ordnance Workers during World War II, and appeared on the bandanas worn by many workers, as explained below.
The sticker is printed in the US on thick, durable vinyl with a UV laminate that protects it from scratching, rain, and sunlight.
Size: 1.68" x 3"
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The history of the Women Ordnance Workers insignia
"In 1942, Westinghouse Company's War Production Coordinating Committee created a series of posters to encourage support for the war effort. One of these posters became the 'We Can Do It' poster. This image was based on a United Press International wire service photograph taken of Ann Arbor, Michigan, factory worker Geraldine Hoff who worked as a metal-stamping machine operator. In later years, this image would be associated with the Rosie the Riveter legend, however this image only appeared for a few weeks to Westinghouse employees in the Midwest in 1943. An Ordnance Department Women Ordnance Worker (WOW) bandana is clearly visible on her head. This image has largely replaced the Norman Rockwell's image of Rosie the Riveter. . . .
The "Rosie the Riveter" movement is credited with helping push the number of working women to 20,000,000 during four years of war, a 57 percent jump from 1940. About 300,000 women were employed in War Department activities in November 1943. The WOW bandanna became a well-known symbol of the 85,000 women who worked directly for the Ordnance Department. . . .
From an advertisement in the July-August 1943 issue of Army Ordnance:
"... and she wears the WOW bandanna. Water Repellent. Washable. Dust Proof. The "WOW" Bandanna, designed in accordance with U.S. Army specification, is an attractive, safe, and unifying head covering to identify Women Ordnance Workers. About 27" square, it is available either in Ordnance red with white Ordnance insignia, or in white with red Ordnance insignia. Every woman in your plant will want one--it's a "WOW" for morale! $3.75 per dozen, net F.O.B., New York. Manufactured under authorization from the Army Ordnance Department. We invite your inquiry. BRIAN FABRICS CORPORATION, 1441 BROADWAY, NEW YORK CITY."
Source: US Army
The history of the symbol
"The Shell and Flame (a.k.a. Flaming Bomb) has been used by European armies for several centuries before adoption by the U.S. Army. In fact, it is still used by many countries in Western Europe, i.e. the Grenadier Guards in Britain. The insignia represents not a bomb, but an iron hand grenade with a powder charge and a fuse which had to be lit before throwing.
The Shell and Flame is considered the oldest branch insignia in the U.S. Army. The use of the Shell and Flame by the Ordnance Branch dates back to 1832. It was also used by the Artillery Branch until 1834 when the Artillery branch adopted the crossed-cannons as its branch insignia.
The Shell and Flame continued to be used by a wide variety of Army organizations, not just the Ordnance branch, until 1851when the new 1851 Uniform Regulations dictated the Ordnance Branch would be the sole users of the Shell and Flame."
Source: US Army
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All designs are copyrighted by The History List
All designs are copyrighted by The History List
All designs are copyrighted by The History List and the History Nerd text and design on t-shirts is a registered trademark. If you see a knock off, please let me know.
Your purchases support our mission to engage people with local history and to support historic sites and history organizations across the country.