Naomi Parker Fraley, the Real-Life Rosie the Riveter, Dies at 96

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Naomi Parker Fraley, the inspiration for the iconic feminine World War II manufacturing unit employee Rosie the Riveter, has died. She was 96.

The Tulsa, Oklahoma, native, who was born on August 26, 1921, died on Saturday in Longview, Washington, in response to the New York Times. The California waitress-turned-factory employee started her job at the Naval Air Station in Alameda and was amongst the first girls to be assigned to the machine store after the Japanese assault on Pearl Harbor in late 1941.

Then in 1942, 20-year-old Fraley posed for carrying her signature red-and-white-polka-dot bandana and dealing on a turret lathe, for a photographer touring the Naval Air Station, the place she and youthful sister Ada drilled and patched airplane wings in addition to operated rivet machines.

The image was rapidly featured in newspapers and magazines nationwide earlier than it caught the eye of artist J. Howard Miller, whose 1943 Rosie the Riveter poster bears a hanging resemblance to Fraley’s picture, even all the way down to the actual bandana.

However, Fraley was not recognized as the muse for Rosie as a result of one other girl, named Geraldine Hoff Doyle, who labored in a manufacturing unit in Michigan, was labeled “the real-life Rosie the Riveter” since she believed she noticed herself in an uncaptioned reprint of Fraley’s picture in the 1980s.

Fraley was unaware of her identification on the poster for 30 years till she was knowledgeable that her picture had been misidentified. “I couldn’t consider it as a result of it was me in the picture, however there was any person else’s identify in the caption: Geraldine. I used to be amazed,” Fraley informed PEOPLE in September 2016.

However, it was too late to set the document straight as Hoff Doyle’s identification was already cemented as Rosie. “I simply needed my very own identification. I didn’t need fame or fortune, however I did need my very own identification,” Fraley recalled.

That was till 2015, when she met James J. Kimble, a professor of communications at Seton Hall University in New Jersey whose six years of analysis led him straight to Fraley’s door.

“She had been robbed of her a part of historical past. It’s so hurtful to be misidentified like that,” Kimble informed PEOPLE at the time. “It’s like the prepare has left the station and also you’re standing there and there’s nothing you are able to do since you’re 95 and nobody listens to your story.”

Most poignantly, given the present social local weather in Hollywood and lots of industries, Fraley’s message about working girls nonetheless resonates.

“The girls of this nation nowadays want some icons. If they suppose I’m one, I’m comfortable about that,” she mentioned.


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