Virtually everyone must have come across the famous “we can do it” or the “the real-life Rosie the Riveter” poster. You know the one of a pretty woman in a power stance wearing a blue shirt and signature white and red polka dot bandana. Yes that’s the one we are talking about.
The real woman behind the famous poster is Naomi Parker Fraley, a native of Tulsa Oklahoma who worked as a factory worker as of the time the picture was taken. In 1942 she posed for a photographer who was at the time touring the naval station.
Shorty after the picture was taken; it gained recognition and featured in news papers and magazines across the country, before it caught the eye of artist J. Howard Miller, whose 1943 Rosie the Riveter poster bears a striking resemblance to Fraley’s photo, even down to the exact bandana.
Although there was a huge misconception about whom the actual muse was, mainly because another woman called Geraldine Hoff Doyle, who was also a factory worker in Michigan was dubbed “The real Rosie The Riveter”. And also because it took Naomi Fraley 30 years to know that her picture was misidentified.
The misidentification was eventually cleared with the help of Professor James Kimble who was interested in the picture and found out that the original photograph was credit to Naomi Parker in 1942.
Naomi Parker died On January 20, 2018, Parker died in Longview, Washington at the age of 96.