Category Archives: Welding Jobs

Welding and metal fabrication employment news.

Putting a Face to the Name: The true story of the original Rosie the Riveter

In honor of the passing of Rosalind P. Walter, one of the original Rosie’s, we’re shining light on the famous face of Women Who Worked on the Home Front during World War II

Rosie the Riveter is the most iconic symbol of women’s empowerment. For over 75 years, the painting featuring a bandana clad woman with her sleeves rolled up, is the literal poster child for work in the trades industry. Many people know her face but did you know that most don’t know whose face it is? 

The most popular reference of Rosie is in Rosie the Riveter, a song written by Redd Evans and John Jacob Loeb in 1943. Inspired by [1] “Rosalind P. Walter, a Long Island women who was a riveter on Corsair fighter planes,” the song tells the tale of a little girl who is [2] “making history, working for victory” and doing “more than a male will do.” Even though Rosalind sounds like the perfect inspiration for the poster, she is not the woman behind the famous face. 

After the song’s release, Norman Rockwell, one of the nation’s most popular illustrators, drew a rendition of Rosie; however, his version was less feminine than the one we know today. 

Using Mary Keefe, a Vermont woman, as his model, Rockwell portrayed Rosie as masculine with hefty arms and a large rivet gun. [2] “She’s big and dirty. She’s oversized, with working-class brawn. She has no wedding ring” and is wearing men’s clothes. Rockwell’s Rosie depicts masculinity as power while the Rosie we know depicts a strong, motivational woman.

But was that what she was meant for all along? Was Rosie designed as propaganda to draw women to the workforce while the men fought diligently during World War II?

The answer is no. In fact, the wartime industrial poster, painted by J. Howard Miller, was never meant for the entire nation to see. It [1] “displayed briefly in Westinghouse Electric Corporation Plants” and “was intended only to deter absenteeism and strikes among Westinghouse employees in wartime.” 

Even though [3] “Rosie became one of the most successful recruitment tools in American history, and the most iconic image of working women in the World War II era”, the woman responsible for the movement was unidentified for nearly 75 years. 

It took one man six years to uncover the real Rosie.

In 2010, Dr. James J. Kimble, [1] “an associate professor of communication and the arts at Seton Hall University in New Jersey” embarked on a quest to uncover the real Rosie. He landed first on [1] “Geraldine Doyle, who in 1942 worked briefly as a metal presser in a Michigan plant.” Doyle believed herself to be the woman in a newspaper photograph published the very same year she began work at the plant. 

In all fairness, the picture is a profile of the woman’s face and it wouldn’t be shocking to find that many women believed it was them in the photo. 

For years, Doyle was identified as Rosie so much so that it was mentioned in her 2010 obituary. Without any proof that Doyle was in fact the real Rosie, Dr. Kimble continued his search and came across [4] “a copy of the photograph with the original caption glued on the back. Dated March 1942 at the Naval Air Station in Alameda, it identified ‘Pretty Naomi Parker’ as the woman at the lathe.” 

When Dr. Kimble met with Naomi Parker, now Naomi Parker Fraley, she wasn’t shocked by his findings. [4] “In 2011, at a reunion of female war workers, she saw the Acme photo of the woman at the lathe on display and recognized herself. Then she saw the caption, with Geraldine Hoff Doyle’s name and information. Fraley wrote to the National Park Service to correct the error, but got nowhere, even though she had kept a clipping of the photo from a 1942 paper with her name in the caption.” 

In 2016, Dr. Kimble published an article, Rosie’s Secret Identity, detailing his search and the real Rosie was finally brought to light. Kimble says, [4] “I think the most important thing to her was her identity. When there’s a photo of you going around that people recognize, and yet somebody else’s name is below it, and you’re powerless to change that – that’s really going to affect you. The idea that this journal article, and the media picking it up and spreading the story, helped her regain her claim on that photo and her personal identity was really the big victory for her.” 

After 75 years, we now know the face behind one of the most iconic women in the nation’s history. J. Howard Miller’s rendition of Fraley will forever be one of the best propaganda campaigns our nation will encounter. Rosie the Riveter not only motivated citizens to provide relief to the war effort and boosted the country’s morale during wartime but inspired future generations of women to accomplish whatever they set their minds to. 

We can and we will do it!


References

[1] Fox, M. (2018). Naomi Parker Fraley, the Real Rosie the Riveter, Dies at 96. [New York Times Online Article]. Retrieved on 01/23/2018 from https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/22/obituaries/naomi-parker-fraley-the-real-rosie-the-riveter-dies-at-96.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=first-column-region&region=top-news&WT.nav=top-news 

[2] Harvey, S. (2010). Rosie the Riveter: Real Women Workers in World War II. [Library of Congress Online Article]. Retrieved on 01/23/2018 from https://www.loc.gov/rr/program/journey/rosie-transcript.html 

[3] History Channel. (n.d.). Rosie the Riveter. [History Channel Online Article]. Retrieved on 01/23/2018 from http://www.history.com/topics/world-war-ii/rosie-the-riveter 

[4] Pruitt, S. (2018). Uncovering the Secret Identity of Rosie the Riveter. [History Channel Online Article]. Retrieved on 01/30/2018 from http://www.history.com/news/rosie-the-riveter-inspiration 

Why Military Women Should Consider a Career In Welding

A career in welding may be a great option for a military woman, whether she is still in active service or back in civilian life. Welding often pays well, offers parc-zone military women weldinglenty of room for advancement, and obliterates the glass ceiling that many women face in the workplace. Women have worked in shipyards and factories since WWII, when many men had to leave their welding jobs to serve overseas, opening up an area of work previously closed off to women. Yet, even today, despite the huge advances women have made in all arenas, their numbers are still largely underrepresented in the STEM fields (science, technology, engineering and mathematics).

 

Welding Jobs for Military Women

There are more than 500,000 welders in the United States, according to the American Welding Society. When most people think of welders, they usually picture a burly man behind the mask. Less than five percent of welders in the world are females, as we stated before on this blog.** But think about this: Military women may be uniquely qualified to consider a career in welding. Military females have the discipline, training, and experience necessary to excel in the workplace as welders. Continue reading

Welders Wanted

It seems the news is mostly good, that manufacturing jobs are coming back, that welders are or will soon be in great demand:

US Manufacturing to Capture Larger Share of Global Market
WASHINGTON — After decades of hollowing out, U.S. manufacturing is overtaking competitors and stands to grab up to $115 billion more in export business from rivals by 2020, a new report said Tuesday. continue reading this article.–>

Energy industry eager to attract more skilled trades workers
With all the new projects planned along the Gulf Coast, the energy industry predicts it will need 500,000 new workers between now and 2020. continue reading this article–>

Tips for Women Welders

So as a reminder, I thought I’d revisit some tips for women welders to succeed in  the industry.

1. Welding Education, Welding Education, Welding Education! (not to mention practice, practice, practice)  No matter how you do it, whether you go to a welding school, apprentice with a master fabricator, ask a ton of questions, the more you know the more employable you will be in the welding industry.  And women welders, this is especially true for you. The better you are at your craft, the less likely you’ll have to put up with guff from your male counterparts.  Make it your mission to weld rings around your male counterparts. Continue reading

What About A Welding Badge for GIRL Scouts?

Just received this press release from the American Welding Society celebrating the kick off the 2013 Careers in Welding Trailer tour.

MIAMI, Fla., July 22, 2013 – Boy Scouts from across the country are exploring careers in welding as the AWS Careers in Welding Trailer kicks off its 2013 tour at the Boy Scout Jamboree in West Virginia through July 24, 2013.

Over 40,000 [BOY] Scouts, volunteers and visitors are getting a chance to try their hand at welding at America’s biggest celebration in Scouting. Held once every three years, this will be the first jamboree at its new permanent home – The Summit, in West Virginia.

Let’s hope that the Careers in Welding Trailer finds ways to introduce GIRL scouts, and GIRLS in general, to the possibilities of working in the welding industry. After all, the American Welding Society’s new president is NANCY Cole, who has stated one of her goals is to get more women into the industry. Continue reading

Is Welding the HOT new career?

It seems everywhere I turn these days someone is promoting welding to women.  One reason is that the American Welding Society has a new president–a woman named Nancy Cole who was the first woman to graduate with a degree in metallurgical engineering from University of Tennessee.

“There is a dire shortage of skilled workers in the welding industry and I’m looking forward to focusing on changing that in 2013,” said Cole. “My goal as president this year is to celebrate women in welding and help fill the need for properly skilled and educated welding professionals.”

The AWS recently produced this video, showcasing the opportunities for women in the industry.

If you know anyone interested in a career in welding, a good place to start is the American Welding Society.  On the AWS website you’ll find a welding school locator, information on certifications, and links to the local chapters.

If you are a woman interested in the industry, check out these tips for women welders….  and, if you want to be inspired, read our profiles of women welders, The New Rosies.

Finally, if you want to win a CK Flex Loc TIG Welding Torch…. head over to JoeWelder.com and tell us what you’d weld if money were no object!