The Swing Shift Shuffle is a radio program of swing, big band, jazz, boogie woogie and other popular music from the 1930's and 40's that airs every Wednesday from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. (US Central Time) on WEVL 89.9 FM in Memphis, Tennessee, with a live webcast at In addition to the radio show, this blog is dedicated to all aspects of the Swing Era, including art, automobiles, cartoons, comics, history, movies, music, news, science, technology, and anything else that happened during that time. It also includes announcements about events in the Memphis/Mid-South area related to the Swing Era, such as classic movies, concerts, dances, lectures, etc. If you see something that fits the description, send it to me at If you would like more information about the radio show, just go to the Radio Show FAQ page.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Veronica Lake And Workplace Safety

This image of Veronica Lake, posted on Film Noir Photos, tells an interesting story of how a change in hairstyle helped the war effort. 
During the early 1940s Veronica Lake was considered one of the most reliable box office draws in Hollywood. A stray lock of her shoulder-length, blonde hair during a publicity photo shoot had led to her iconic "peekaboo" hairstyle, which was adopted by female fans all over the country. During WWII, US government officials asked Lake to wear her hair up for the duration, as many women who imitated her hairstyle were getting their hair caught in assembly-line machinery.
The government took this issue very seriously.  There is a scene in the 1943 film Swing Shift Masie in which a somewhat "flighty" woman war worker (not the title character, played by Ann Sothern) who is too concerned with appearance to put up her hair falls victim to the mixture of long locks and moving machinery.  The movie is a comedy, so no serious injury!  For a video of Ms. Lake changing her famous hairstyle, check out this post from July 2010.

No comments: