Museum Homepage

The San Mateo County Historical Association
Online Collections Database

The mission of the San Mateo County Historical Association is to inspire wonder and discovery
of the cultural and natural history of San Mateo County.

Object Record

  • Email This Page
  • Send Feedback
Catalog Number 1982.219.001
Description Block Warden's First Aid Kit, c. 1941-1945. Block Warden's first aid kit contains medical supplies for emergencies that were used during World War II by Gladys M. Browning of Burlingame, CA. Off-white rectangular canvas bag has two looped handles. The handles are sewn on the outside of the bag on the long sides. A rectangular cardboard box without a top fits inside the canvas bag to give it structure. Canvas pockets that hold a number of smaller items are sewn to the longer interior sides of the cardboard box. Large objects are stored loose in the bottom of the box.
Object Name Kit, First Aid
Collection 3D - Medical & Psychological Tools & Equipment
Title Block Warden's First Aid Kit, c. 1941-1945
Date c. 1941-1945
Creator Unknown
Inscription Text none
Provenance Used during World War II by Gladys M. Browning of Burlingame, CA
Notes "Block wardens, one of the most influential civil defense positions an average citizen could hope to obtain, was advertised by the government as a job well-suited for women. Because male FCDA officials believed most women stayed at home each day, women seemed like good candidates for the post. Defined as the "backbone of civil defense," block wardens assumed considerable responsibilities both in the neighborhood and the community at-large [Federal Civil Defense Administration, This is Civil Defense, 21]. Responsible for an average of 500 people, block wardens taught civil defense regulations, prepared a map of the neighborhood, kept an accurate census of the block, trained people how to fight fires and administer first-aid, distributed government literature, and remained in charge of preventing panic. Two of the most important aspects of the job, designating responsibility and exhibiting leadership qualities, normally traits associated with men not women, required that block wardens occupy a high-profile position in the community.[19] By openly recruiting women for such a complex and difficult job, the FCDA validated the capabilities of women outside their traditional sector of the home." []
Dimensions H-9 W-13.25 D-9.75 inches
Search Terms Bags
Browning, Gladys M.
First Aid
Medical Equipment
Medical Tools
World War II
World War Two
Subjects First aid
Medical aspects of war
Medical equipment & supplies
World War II
People Browning, Gladys M.