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[Last name, First name], Oral history interview conducted by [Interviewer’s First name Last name], [Month DD, YYYY], [Title of Collection], [Call #]; Brooklyn Historical Society.
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Oral history interview conducted by Jennifer Egan
November 18, 2006
Call number: 2010.003.035
Oral History Interview with Sidonia Levine
Sidonia Kessler Levine (1919- ) began working at the Brooklyn Navy Yard in November of 1942. She worked as a mechanic helper and shipfitter in Building 4 while her husband was deployed. Levine currently lives in Florida.
In this interview, Sidonia Kessler Levine (1919- ) talks about how she came to work at the Brooklyn Navy Yard after spending some time at Western Electric. She mentions that she did very well on the Navy Yard test, on which she received the 15th best score out of 500 participants. While at the Navy Yard, Levine had her picture taken for the Shipworker and did an interview with the Brooklyn Eagle. She talks a lot about the camaraderie in the yard and the lasting friendships she made with the women she worked with in Building 4. She also details her job where she converted blueprints into wooden templates and attended extra school at Pratt for blueprint reading. She made her work uniform herself. Levine describes her visit to the Navy Yard in the 1990s as "sterile" compared to the liveliness of the atmosphere while she worked there. Interview conducted by Jennifer Egan.
The Brooklyn Navy Yard oral history collection is comprised of over fifty interviews of men and women who worked in or around the Brooklyn Navy Yard, primarily during World War II. The narrators discuss growing up in New York, their work at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, their relationships with others at the Yard, gender relations and transportation to and from work. Many narrators bring up issues of ethnicity, race, and religion at the Yard or in their neighborhoods. Several people describe the launching of the USS Missouri battleship and recall in detail their daily tasks at the Yard (as welders, office workers and ship fitters). While the interviews focus primarily on experiences in and around the Yard, many narrators go on to discuss their lives after the Navy Yard, relating stories about their careers, dating and marriage, children, social activities, living conditions and the changes that took place in Manhattan and Brooklyn during their lifetimes.
CitationLevine, Sidonia Kessler, 1919-, Oral history interview conducted by Jennifer Egan, November 18, 2006, Brooklyn Navy Yard oral history collection, 2010.003.035; Brooklyn Historical Society.
- Levine, Sidonia Kessler, 1919-
- New York Naval Shipyard
- Baseball players
- Jews, American -- New York (State) -- Kings County
- Mechanics (Persons)
- Naval ships
- World War, 1939-1945
- Brooklyn (New York, N.Y.)
Finding AidBrooklyn Navy Yard oral history collection