Factory Work

During the two world wars, deaf people found jobs in industries throughout the country. In Arkon, Ohio, the Goodyear and Firestone tire and rubber companies recruited hundreds of deaf workers. By 1920 nearly 1,000 deaf employees were in the Goodyear and Firestone plants. But like women and minority workers, most deaf people lost their jobs at war's end as servicemen returned home and factories converted to peacetime production.


The Wingfoot Clan was a publication of Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company. The May 1918 special issue focusing on deaf workers became a cherished memento of deaf employees.


Gallaudet University Archives


Deaf people moved to Akron to fill a variety of war time jobs.

(Left) Goodyear workers, all alumni of the Kentucky School for the Deaf, pose on the factory steps.
Kentucky School for the Deaf

(Right) Deaf women from the balloon and gas mask divisions display a Goodyear banner.
Gallaudet University Archives. Gift of Robert Werdlg, Jr.


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