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Rosie The Riveter

Facts, information and articles about the Rosie The Riveter, a famous figure of World War II

Rosie The Riveter Facts

Real Name

Geraldine Hoff Doyle


Metal Worker


Appearing On Poster For U.S. war effort


December 26, 2010 (age 86)

Rosie The Riveter summary: A gorgeous seventeen-year old became the 1940’s-incentive of the later famous Rosie the Riveter. Her name was Geraldine Hoff Doyle and she worked at an Ann Arbor, Michigan plant that manufactured metal. It was her picture on the huge posters displayed all over America. Later, Norman Rockwell’s interpretation of Rosie was part of the Saturday Evening Post in 1943. The best known image of Rosie is probably the Westinghouse poster that shows Rosie with a red and white polka-dotted bandana on a yellow background. Her shout-out “We Can Do It!” is above her head.

Rosie The RIveter
Rosie The RIveter

Rosie the Riveter represents the power women wield when necessary. While their husbands, sons, fathers and brothers were doing the physical part of fighting a war, the women would do their part on the home front. At a time when no one has heard of Women’s Lib, these women fulfilled the jobs normally held by men. The aircraft and ammunition factories had the largest female employee increase overall.

The idea of having a “Rosie the Riveter” as a household name was intended to boost morale to keep production rate up rather than a call on women to do men’s jobs. However, once the idea of women working in factories came to life, it was hard to stop. After the men returned from war and metal products were not as much in demand, families had gotten used to this income. It also afforded women little more freedom than they had before the stereotypical mold was shattered.

After she married a dentist, Geraldine Doyle became Geraldine Keefe. Born in 1924, she lived in Lansing, Michigan with her family. She was 86 when she passed away. She left five children and many grandchildren.


Featured Article About Rosie The Riveter From History Net Magazines

Remembering Rosie

In 1942, 17-year-old Geraldine Doyle spent two uneventful weeks as a metal worker near Detroit. Though her fervent desire to become a cellist prompted her to quit when she learned the job might permanently damage her hands, four decades later Doyle became one of the most enduring icons of the war—and the face of feminism.

During her brief stint pressing metal, a United Press photographer snapped photos of Doyle and her fellow workers; her arched eyebrows and full lips stood out when artist J. Howard Miller sought inspiration for a series of war-effort posters contracted by Westinghouse Electric.

Like Doyle, the “We Can Do It!” poster only appeared in a factory for two weeks—and never resurfaced again during the war. But just as images like that one called women to action for the war effort, in the 1980s women’s rights advocates brought them out of the archives to encourage women in the workforce, and it was then the “Rosie the Riveter” moniker was hung on Doyle’s image. Doyle’s “Rosie” will forever epitomize the 18 million women who took on men’s jobs during World War II.

Doyle passed away on December 26, 2010 at the age of 86. She is survived by her 5 children, 18 grandchildren, and 25 great grandchildren.

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