Bonnie Gifford


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This interview was made possible by the generous support of The Ettinger Foundation.

Bonnie Gifford grew up on a dairy and fruit farm in rural West Michigan. She moved to the city of Muskegon when she heard they were hiring women during the war. She made crankshafts for tanks and trucks at the Continental Motor Company and subsequently got her sisters and even her father defense jobs there. The money she earned allowed her to have more of a wardrobe than she had previously dreamed possible, including a fur coat, and after the war, she was able to put a thousand dollars down on her first home and buy all the furniture, “out of Continental money!” Bonnie belonged to the UAW, and has saved all of her original paystubs from her years working as a “Rosie.”