Real-Life Rosie The Riveters: The Factory Women Who Helped The US Win World War II
Even today, 73 years after the creation of the poster that made her famous, most of us can still instantly recognize Rosie the Riveter. The character indeed took root in the American consciousness by evolving beyond its original purpose -- getting women into the factory workforce during World War II -- and soon became a feminist touchstone.
But as important a symbol as Rosie has become, how many of us understand the original context from which she arose?
Did you know, for example, that more than 19 million women worked in essential roles contributing to the war effort, especially in the factories once deemed the domain of men? In aircraft factories, for one, women represented the majority of the workforce by the middle of the war.
And in touring those factories, a handful of photographers left us with some stunning images that now allow us to see these real-life Rosie the Riveters in action.