Rosie the Riveter Costume

Rosie the Riveter Costume

Dress Like Rosie the Riveter

Pink as Rosie the Riveter
Pink as Rosie the Riveter

Rosie the Riveter starred in a campaign to recruit women workers for the defense industry during World War II, and she became perhaps the most iconic image of working women. American women entered the world of work in unprecedented numbers during the war as widespread male recruitment left gaping holes in the industrial workforce.

Between 1940 and 1945, the female share of the US workforce rose from 27 percent to nearly 37 percent, and by 1945 nearly one in four married women was working outside the home.

Rosie the Riveter Cosplay

Beyonce as Rosie the Riveter
Beyonce as Rosie the Riveter

As WW2 was a total war, which required governments to utilize their entire populations to defeat their enemies, millions of women were encouraged to work in the industry and take over jobs previously done by men. During WWI women across the United States were employed in jobs previously done by men. World War II was similar to World War I in that massive conscription of men led to a shortage of available workers and therefore a demand for labor that could be filled only by employing women.

Nearly 19 million women held jobs during World War II. Many of these women were already working in lower-paying jobs or were returning to the workforce after being laid off during the depression. Only three million new female workers entered the workforce during the time of the war.

Rosie the Riveter Halloween Costume

The real identity of Rosie the Riveter has been the subject of considerable debate. For years, the inspiration for the woman on the Westinghouse poster was Geraldine Hoff Doyle of Michigan, who worked in a Navy machine shop during World War II.

Other sources claim that Rosie was actually Rose Will Monroe, who worked as a riveter at the Willow Run Bomber Plant near Detroit. Monroe also appeared in a war bond commercial.

And Rosalind P. Walter of Long Island, New York is known as Rosie from the popular Evans and Loeb song. Walter was, in fact, a riveter in Corsair fighter jets.

However, the most believable claim about Rosie's legacy came from Naomi Parker Fraley, who was photographed in the machine shop of the Naval Air Station in Alameda, California. In the 1942 photo, she wears a telltale spotted headscarf. Fraley died in January 2018.

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