Rosie the Riveter Inspiration Naomi Parker Fraley Dies at 96


Rosie the Riveter Inspiration Naomi Parker Fraley Dies at 96

Rosie the Riveter may have become a cultural icon during World War II, but her family knew her as Naomi Parker Fraley, a single mother and "amazing person". At the event, Fraley saw the newspaper photo of the women at the lathe that the Rosie poster is believed to be based on, incorrectly identifying Doyle as the woman in the photo.

James Kimble, an associate professor of communication and the arts at Seton Hall University in New Jersey, discovered Fraley as the real Rosie the Riveter after years of research and reported his findings in "Rosie's Secret Identity", a 2016 article in the journal Rhetoric & Public Affairs, the Times said.

Fraley, whose father Joseph Parker was a mining engineer, was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on August 26, 1921.

The Tulsa, Ohlahoma native began working in the machine shop at the Naval Air Station in Alameda shortly after the attack on Pearl Harbor December 1941.

Rendered in bold graphics and bright primary colors by the Pittsburgh artist J. Howard Miller, it depicts a young woman, clad in a work shirt and polka-dot bandanna.

Then in 2011, at a reunion event for female wartime workers, Parker Fraley for the first time saw the poster displayed alongside the photograph.

National Museum of American History  Wikimedia CommonsA “We Can Do It!” poster for Westinghouse closely associated with Rosie the Riveter
National Museum of American History Wikimedia CommonsA “We Can Do It!” poster for Westinghouse closely associated with Rosie the Riveter

"I couldn't believe it", she told The Oakland Tribune in 2016.

The original caption on the photo read: "Pretty Naomi Parker looks like she might catch her nose in the turret lathe she is operating".

The real-life inspiration behind a timeless World War II image has died at age 96, CNN reports. "I knew it was actually me in the photo".

"It was an absolutely joyful day when I went there", said Mr Kimble.

Fraley, who died in Longview, Washington, had gone unrecognized as the inspiration for the "We Can Do It" image on the popular war poster and feminist touchstone for almost 70 years because someone else had been given credit, The New York Times reported. "The thing is, I grew up with this woman, so she was special to me because of who she was", Joe Blankenship said.

"The women of this country these days need some icons", Fraley told Peopleafter her identity was revealed. "If they think I'm one, I'm happy". During the war, "Rosie the Riveter" was more associated with a hit song by the same name and a painting by Norman Rockwell of a brawny homefront worker on lunch break.