The Munsingwear Family of Minneapolis at War: Conclusions

  • Lars Olsson


The Northwestern Knitting Company/the Munsingwear Corporation made business more than usual during the war and the profits were higher than ever, while one-third of the working women earned on or below the official subsistence level. Many women performed monotonous and tedious tasks that were based on the principles of scientific management in the making of the Munsing Wear and in the administration of production. Labor turnover was the most urgent problem for the directors, and they devoted large efforts to making the workers identify with the company by developing a pioneering welfare program for the employees, especially the women, and by shaping a paternal, imagined community of “the Munsingwear Family.” After the entry of the United States into the war, the directors enlarged the imagined community so that all immigrant workers at the company should become “true Americans,” loyal to the war effort.

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lars Olsson
    • 1
  1. 1.Linnaeus UniversityKalmarSweden

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