Oral History Center - UC Berkeley Library

William Ball: Rosie The Riveter World War II American Home Front Oral History Project

Interviewee(s):
Ball, William
Interviewer(s):
Stein, Julie
Title:
William Ball: Rosie The Riveter World War II American Home Front Oral History Project
Abstract:
William B. Ball was born in Oakland, California, and grew up in Wheatland, a town fifty miles north of Sacramento. His father and grandfather ran a repair shop throughout the Great Depression. As a teenager, he worked for his uncle on survey teams on the Sacramento River. He studied engineering at UC Berkeley and worked for the San Francisco Resettlement Agency as a draftsman designing labor camps for Dust Bowl refugees. Ball then attended the Boeing Aeronautics School and then worked as an Engineer for the Grand Coulee Dam in Washington from 1938 to 1940, during which time he persuaded Franklin D. Roosevelt and Postmaster Jim Farley to visit the project site. He continued his engineering career working in the Kaiser Shipyard and on Howard Hughes’ Spruce Goose project. He discusses changes in Richmond, including rural newcomers, and collaborative efforts between engineers and architects in the Kaiser Shipyards. See also Tales From a Grandfather by William B. Ball, deposited to The Bancroft Library with his oral history.
Subject area(s):
Community and Identity
Commerce, Industry, and Labor
Interview date(s):
2010
Project:
Rosie The Riveter World War II American Home Front
Rights:
Ball, William. "William Ball: Rosie The Riveter World War II American Home Front Oral History Project." Interview by Julie Stein in 2010. Oral History Center, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley, 2012.