Over Here: The Homefront During WWI: Women | Carolina Stories - Episode 4


Eugenia Duke went into business making sandwiches and would later become a successful entrepreneur with the production and selling of Duke Mayonnaise. Eugenia's mayonnaise did not call for sugar which proved useful because during the war in 1917 sugar was scarce. Eugenia made sandwiches and because of supply and demand she was making 100 sandwiches a day.

In 1917 South Carolinian women saw more opportunity. There were more women in men dominated occupations like doctors, realtors and lawyers. During wartime women not only participated in more jobs so men could go fight; but they also enlisted! They served as nurses and 143 women from South Carolina enlisted to aid the war effort. 1000 uniforms were sent from Charleston and Red Cross Women drove ambulances that transferred supplies and the wounded.

The war facilitated the women's right to vote. Women secured support from President Wilson and continued to rally for suffrage from President Roosevelt. In 1920, women were given the right to vote and this set the way for more equality with the rallying cry, "Women, Awake! Your country needs you!"