World War I occurred between July 1914 and November 1918. Although the causes of the war were complicated, the effects of the war on the traditional way of life for Americans during this time were quite simple. Prior to World War I, men viewed women as fragile, which is why women during this time were usually in the home cooking, cleaning, and taking care of the children. However, the man's role was to be the primary breadwinner for the family. These roles changed quite drastically when World War I began. Men were drafted by the government to serve in the war, which meant they were leaving their families behind. This caused the role of the woman to change.
One way the woman's role changed was that she was now the main authority figure in the house. This meant that she was able to do things that she was not able to do before such as having a bank account. Women also had to begin doing more of the things the men had done before such as fixing things. Another way women's roles changed was that they were now working outside the home more. There were more jobs vacant because of the men leaving and some women had to begin working to support their families. The Monmouth Daily Review began advertising more jobs directed at women. One wanted ad stated, "Position open for young lady with good education. Office work" (Monmouth Daily Review, 1917). Another one said, "Wanted - man or lady of fair education for local work or travel" (Monmouth Daily Review, 1917). A popular job for women during this time was a telephone operator. Monmouth Telephone Company's advertisements began featuring a woman telephone operator.
As women were beginning to join the workforce more and more, they still had to keep up with the housework. Since many women were working, they began hiring young girls to do their housework for them. An ad in the Monmouth Daily Review stated, "Wanted - girl to do housework". Another ad said, "Wanted - Girls to sew cotton flannel mittens" (1917). The roles of women all over the country exceptionally changed during World War I and we are able to see evidence of this right here in Monmouth.
Monmouth Daily Review 1917