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Geraldine Doyle died at 86


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A Michigan factory worker used as the unwitting model for the wartime Rosie the Riveter poster whose inspirational "We Can Do It!" message became an icon of the feminist movement has died.

Geraldine Doyle died Sunday, a spokesman for the Hospice House of Mid Michigan told AFP. She was 86.

"She was 5-10, very slender. She always liked to be glamorous."
Doyle was just 17 when she took a job at a metal pressing plant near Ann Arbor, Michigan in 1942 at the height of World War II.
She quit about two weeks later after learning that another woman had badly injured her hand doing the same job -- Doyle was worried she'd lose the ability to play the cello, her daughter said.
She was there, however, when a United Press International photographer came to the factory while documenting the contribution of women to the war effort.
A picture of Doyle was later used by J. Howard Miller, a graphic artist at Westinghouse, for the poster

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What a tribute to the American woman during WWII to step in and take over when the men left. My mother stayed in the home but when she went did go to work, she fought against the stereotypical thought of most men when she went to work in an appliance service department, women can't think critically about how to fix mechanical devices. She more than showed them, she surpassed them, she could read, write and understand schematics. My Aunt Martha worked for Allison in Indianapolis making, well aircraft engines and boat engines. After the war her husband got her job when GM let all the women go and he treated her like she was dumb as mud. When I was an adult visiting them I asked him who he thought built them while he was gone for four years. He said he didn't really know, he never thought about it. Aunt Martha told him she had worked for Allison for the four years he was gone. She had never told him because she knew he would be mad as xxxx about it, a womans place was in the home. No woman should ever work outside the home he said. Uncle John was upset for awhile but he got over it. Then he by supper time he was real impressed with his wife's ability to build an engine. Women are more than just something to satisfy our animal urges, fix our meals and do our laundry, they are our help mates and our equals, and sometimes even our betters. :rolleyes:

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A friend sent that to me on my Facebook page.

My Mom worked in the converted Graham Paige auto plant in Detroit. She started out gluing grit onto the polishing bobs, then moved up to running a Cincinnati Hydro-Tel making the master rods for radial aircraft engines. If a set-up guy wasn't around she would change out her own tooling. The guy in the tool crib would give her the new cutters, and give the resharpened ones to the men working there. When she would get off work at midnight she would go out dancing for a couple of hours then back at it the next day. I believe she was around 18-19 at the time.

I never knew that there was an actual person that the poster had been done from.

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I never knew that there was an actual person that the poster had been done from.

I used to work at an air museum where we did "themed" dances . . . We'd clear out all the aircraft except one and convert the hangar into a dance hall (We got the idea from the dance scene in Memphis Belle). Just imagine 600 -700 people all dressed in period clothing, a 20 piece big band and vintage aircraft . . . it was a great time!

One year we themed it "Rosie the Riveter" in honor of all of the women in the work force during WWII - We did some research and tracked down Geraldine and invited her to be the guest of honor but she had a conflict and couldn't attend. She was just stunned and so flattered that we wanted to honor her. She seemed a very gracious and genuine lady.

God Speed Geraldine!
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