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Guide to the Brooklyn Navy Yard oral history collection ARC.003

Brooklyn Historical Society
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Brooklyn 11201
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Brooklyn Historical Society

Collection processed by Amy Lau, Mary Mann, Aliki Caloyeras, and Margaret Fraser

This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on  , September 3, 2020
Finding aid written in English using Describing Archives: A Content Standard

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Oral History Interview with Lucille Kolkin, March 16, 1989

Biographical / Historical

Lucille Gerwitz Kolkin (1919-1997) grew up in Borough Park, Brooklyn and Bensonhurst, Brooklyn and attended Hunter College. She began working at the Brooklyn Navy Yard in 1941 or 1942 at the age of 23 as a tack welder. She remained at the Navy Yard for about 2 years before she moved to California after her husband went into service. Kolkin returned to New York to raise her children. At the time of the interview she was living in Long Island.

Scope and Contents

n the interview, Lucille Gerwitz Kolkin (1919-1997) discusses the dangers and uncomfortable conditions she faced working as a welder, the camaraderie she felt with the other workers, her wages, her union involvement and her relationships with the other workers and her supervisors. She also describes the clothing she wore to work, vacations she took and her Jewish background. After leaving the Brooklyn Navy Yard, Kolkin talks about her experiences as a mother and wife, and about returning to work after her kids had grown up. Interview conducted by Diane Esses.

Conditions Governing Access

This interview can be accessed onsite at Brooklyn Historical Society's Othmer Library and online at the Oral History Portal.

Subject Names

  • Kolkin, Lucille Gewirtz

Subject Organizations

  • New York Naval Shipyard
  • Erasmus Hall High School

Subject Topics

  • Women -x Employment -- New York (State) -- Kings County
  • Shipyards -- New York (State) -- Kings County
  • Shipbuilding -- New York (State) -- Kings County
  • Navy-yards and naval stations -- New York (State) -- Kings County
  • Jewish women

Subject Places

  • Borough Park (New York, N.Y.)
  • Bensonhurst (New York, N.Y.)
  • Brooklyn (New York, N.Y.) |x Emigration and immigration