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

Brooklyn Historical Society
128 Pierrepont Street
Brooklyn 11201

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

Container List

Oral History Interview with Ida Pollack, March 20, 1989

Biographical / Historical

Ida Pollack (1922- ) grew up in the Bronx in a Jewish-American family. Her father was active in the International Workers Order (IWO), a Communist Party fraternal organization. Pollack was active in both the IWO shula (school) and the Young Communist League. She briefly attended Brooklyn College, but left to begin working, initially for a greeting card factory, then for Gimbels department store and eventually as a welder at the Brooklyn Navy Yard.

Scope and Contents

Ida Pollack (1922- ) married in 1941 and began working at the Navy Yard shortly after her husband went into the service in 1942. During her interview, she discusses how she chose to be a welder in order to help the war effort, her training at the Navy Yard, working conditions and injuries, welding equipment, her fear of heights, and wages. Pollack remembers how her friend Sylvia [Honigsman Everitt] found out about her husbands death during their shift at the Navy Yard. Everitt was interviewed along with Pollack in 2008 (2010.003.019). During the interview, Pollack also recalls the death of another woman worker who fell into the dry dock. Pollack was laid off at the end of WWII and moved to Troy, New York for a few years where Pollack attempted to be a welder for again but had trouble because of her gender. Pollack later returned to New York City where she and her husband were very active in political organizations. 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 Organizations

  • International Workers Order
  • Gimbel Brothers
  • New York Naval Shipyard

Subject Topics

  • Communism
  • Communists
  • Ethnicity
  • Friendship
  • Jews, Americans -- New York (State) -- New York
  • Labor unions -- New York (State) -- New York
  • Shipbuilding -- New York (State) -- Kings County
  • Shipyards -- New York (State) -- Kings County
  • General strikes -Z New York (State) -- Kings County
  • Welding
  • Women -x Employment -- New York (State) -- Kings County
  • Women welders
  • Work environment -- New York (State) -- Kings County
  • World War, 1939-1945

Subject Places

  • Bronx (New York, N.Y.)
  • Brooklyn (New York, N.Y.)
  • Troy (N.Y.)