View of Esther H. Ludwig
worked for the Weather Bureau from 1943 to 1950, seven years in Tucson
and six months in Flagstaff. My starting salary was $1440.00 per annum.
I first learned of the opportunity through the local employment office.
At the time, I had to reenter the work field because my husband was
ill and my son was in high school. I left the Weather Bureau in June,
1950, at which time I was replaced by a veteran returning to Flagstaff.
before working for the Weather Bureau included high school and some
college; part-time work in a credit department; and teaching at an
elementary school for five years. The training provided included three
months of meteorology study and supervised training on the job. I
was received enthusiastically by other Weather Bureau employees. I
was impressed with the dignity and intelligence of the director -and
his respect for women! The morale on station was excellent. Everyone
was dedicated to their job. There was good rapport.
included regular eight-hour duties - half-hour, hourly, six-hour reports
- answer phones - give information to public - radio stations. The
shifts were: Eight o"clock a.m. to 4 p.m. - 4 p.m. to midnight -midnight
to 8 a.m. I worked eight hours a day, forty-eight hours a week the
first year, forty hours thereafter. At my duty station, there were
seven women and three men at various times - always two on a shift.
of the high points of my Weather Bureau career probably was seeing
secret flights landing in the dark of night. The low point definitely
was being replaced!
back, my impression of working for the Weather Bureau during World
War II is that it was exciting and informative. We were a part of
history. I would do it again if time, age and conditions existed.
I feel that my contributions included perfect attendance and the ability
to work well with other employees. I was eager to learn and had excellent
phone rapport. Flagstaff was full of experiences - locking myself
out of the office at 2:00 a.m., twelve inches of snow on the ground
- alone and miles from anyone. A high heel and glass door enabled
me to break the glass - reach in -unlock - and get the report out
experiences include being privileged to be the first woman in Arizona
to give live radio weather reports from the station and gaining friendships
that have lasted to this day. In my work I still meet people who recognize
my name - and my weather reports.