1942 photo of Parker working at the Naval Air Station, Alameda


Identified as the inspiration for Rosie the Riveter, iconic female WWII factory worker, Naomi Parker Fraley, died in January of this year.  Born in Tulsa, Oklahoma, she went to work at the Naval Air Station in Alameda, California, after the attack on Pearl Harbor.  She was one of the first women to do war work there.





(Vintage image of Rosie the Riveter by J. Howard Miller. Courtesy National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution)

“Rosie the Riveter” represented all women who worked in the factories and shipyards during the Second World War; many produced munitions and war supplies.  At times these women took entirely new jobs, replacing male workers who joined the military.  “Rosie the Riveter” became a symbol of American feminism and women’s economic power (“World Politics in the Twenty-first Century Brief”). Images of female workers soon appeared on government posters; commercial advertising was used by the government to encourage women to volunteer for wartime service in factories.  “Rosie the Riveter” even became the subject and title of a song and a Hollywood movie during WWII.  Clearly the working woman dominated the public image!

Our Gift Shop has carried the “Rosie the Riveter” bags for some time now, and has recently ordered in a new batch.