I suppose I am a trailblazer

Jane Manley: 2nd Woman Draftsman in EB History

I was at Electric Boat from January of ’41 to ’42 as a tracer. I left to get married and went to Philadelphia. I worked for the Army Corps of Engineers down there.

Then I came back to New London in 1949. I didn’t want to be a tracer anymore. It’s the lowest position in the design department and I knew a lot more when I came back. So I was taken in as a third-class draftsman. The president of the union at that time told me that that’s as far as I could think of going.

I said, “You’re full of it,” you know – to myself. There was just one other woman but she didn’t last very long. She got married. I was cautious about what was going to happen to me and I just did my work.

I retired in 1989 as a top senior designer. I progressed because I knew what I was doing. At one point I was working with 700 men in the Design Department. I wasn’t surprised by what I accomplished. It was just part of going along every day. But now I’m very proud of it, having been a woman who went as far as I did.

I suppose I am a trailblazer, but I know so many women who worked at EB and work there now. They’re just as great as the men. Especially my daughter – she’s really a great worker over there.