Last updated:

April 27, 2022
Illustration of a woman working in a factory


Pioneer girls and flappers, episode 6 of the podcast series Look history in the eye explores Footscray’s munitions factory and the women who worked there during World War One, and earlier.  It’s the story of poorly-paid, dangerous work, but also of the Knights of Labor and Adela Pankhurst, cricket and woollen dresses, parades and funerals. This talk by Historian Katie Wood originally aired live on International Women’s Day in March 2022. You can watch the full event (available with closed captions) on our YouTube channel here.

Episode 6: Pioneer girls and flappers: The women of the munitions trade in Footscray

Duration: 18min

By Public Record Office Victoria



Pioneer girls and flappers podcast credits

From the podcast series ‘Look history in the eye’

Written and presented by Katie Wood

Produced by Public Record Office Victoria

Music by Jack Palmer


View the original record

Katie's talk begins with the sound of a cartridge exploding and the roof of the hut known as number 1 filling room being lifted high into the air by a tremendous explosion. The circumstances leading to the tragic deaths of the three young women working in the hut can be read about in the original inquest file, which is part of Public Record Office Victoria's online collection. View the full record online and download a copy here.

Inquest file
Detail from inquest record for Alice Mcleod, Elizabeth Greenham and Henrietta Isabella Fitzpatrick.




















You can listen to the podcast Pioneer girls and flappers as part of Look history in the eye on Spotify, Google Play and Apple Podcasts. 

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples should be aware the collection and website may contain images, voices and names of deceased persons.

Material in the Public Record Office Victoria archival collection contains words and descriptions that reflect attitudes and government policies at different times which may be insensitive and upsetting.

PROV provides advice to researchers wishing to access, publish or re-use records about Aboriginal Peoples.