Car Making

ladybird car makers book cover

‘People at Work’
The Car Makers

Holly and I are metro Detroiters and both of us are married to auto engineers. Actually, a disproportionate number of librarians seem to be married to engineers around here… I wonder if that is some kind of cosmic force of nerdiness?

Today’s choice is a Ladybird book from the old days. I became a Ladybird fan when I was in Britain for a couple of years in the mid 90s. My kids loved these books and I liked that they actually had a bit more meat than similar nonfiction titles. Of course my auto engineer would probably take this book and create a detailed diagram of how manufacturing has changed since this was published.

I was looking through the book and noticed the back and forth use of women vs. girls. I guess they weren’t sure at the time.


assembly line for cars-historical

offices for car makers

assembly line with chassis

assembly line

car makers lunch room


  1. $5 says ‘girls’ refers to the ‘office girls.’ Somebody was so used to office personnel being girls that they didn’t even notice!

    My husband is a software engineer. Poll?

    1. Yeah, from the pages shown, I get the impression that female humans who work on the factory floor are “women,” while those working in the offices are “girls.”

  2. I hate to sound like a feminist… no, that’s not true, I *love* to sound like a feminist… but “girls”? Are they all under 18?

  3. My dad worked for GM for 35 years before retiring in 2007 and I have very vivid memories of touring the assembly plants. I wouldn’t mind seeing this book just to see what it was like “before my time” and closer to when he first started.

  4. This reminds me of the film “Made in Dagenham” about the women at the Ford factory in Dagenham going on strike to have their work recognised at an equivalent level to the men. It’s set in 1968, two years prior to the Equal Pay Act. Obviously there’s some dramatic licence in the film but I thought it was fun and interesting.

Comments are closed.