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Bette Murphy Papers

Identifier: LP001357

Scope and Content

The papers of Bette Murphy contain UAW Local 148 minutes and finance reports as well as UAW convention material relating to the activities of Local 148. Also included are newspaper clippings and other documentation of Local 148 strikes at Douglas Aircraft in 1951 to 1952 and 1977 to 1978. Important subjects in the collection: Aircraft industry workers--California. Collective bargaining--Aircraft industry--California. Communism. Douglas Aircraft Company. McCarthyism. Strikes and lockouts--Aircraft industry--California. UAW--Local 148 (Long Beach, Calif.). Women aircraft industry workers.


  • 1942 - 1981


Language of Materials

Material entirely in English.


Collection is open for research.


Refer to the Walter P. Reuther Library Rules for Use of Archival Materials.


Bette Murphy was born on Staten Island, New York, on November 29, 1918. She started working as a riveter at Douglas Aircraft Company's Long Beach, California, plant in 1942 and became active in UAW Local 148 after the union won certification in 1944. She served in various positions, including chief steward and executive board trustee. Bette Murphy was the first woman supervisor and the first woman manufacturing engineer at Douglas and retired in 1978.


2 Linear Feet (2 SB)


An active member of United Auto Workers (UAW) Local 148 (Douglas Aircraft-Long Beach), Bette Murphy was the first woman at Douglas to hold positions of supervisor and manufacturing engineer. Murphy's papers document the affairs of Local 148 throughout her career from the 1940s to the 1970s.


Materials are listed in the order they appear in the collection.


Several photographs have been placed in the Reuther Library's Audiovisual Collection and a large number of issues of Local 148's newspaper, "Air-Scoop," have been transferred to the Archives Library. A transcript of an oral interview with Bette Murphy may be found in the Rosie the Riveter Revisited series of oral histories on deposit at the Reuther Library.

Processing History

Processed by Walter P. Reuther Library.
Guide to the Bette Murphy Papers
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Walter P. Reuther Library Repository

5401 Cass Avenue
Detroit MI 48202 USA