Geraldine Tiller

Geraldine Tiller, an African-American woman, at the age of 97, recounts her life before and during World War II. 

In her interview, Geraldine offers details about what life was like working in the factory alongside other African-American women and men . She goes on to speak about the different jobs available to African American’s during the war effort on the Home Front and how it affected her.

Men and Women were Assigned in the Factory

Some men, they were putting the fish up on the line for the women and then they would also be putting the pickles on another line for the women. And then they would bring the bags of onions over there for the women, I know that because I worked there a lot.

Did you work on the line cutting onions?

No, I worked on the line packing fish. And you had to stand up all day and you had to wear boots because there was so much water see they would dump the water under your feet. There was so much water, you know when they dumped them out there was so much water running but you know there was a big hole for the water to run out. But the men kept it clean for the women.

Vitafoods Employee Uniform

“We had blue and white uniforms- blue, a white collar and it was nice I enjoyed it! Yeah we would starch ‘em and I would starch mine so I could sit there and look pretty”

And what was in the pocket of your uniform?

A handkerchief, and we would have our button and my button I would never forget. My button was 259, yup mine was 259.