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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.