The real “Rosie Riveters” of WWII

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In most countries women were not permitted to fight on the front lines of the war. Instead, they supported the war effort by learning, training and taking up jobs usually held by men. These women did a lot more than rivet, they designed, built and tested thousands of aircraft in factories across Canada and the US. Prior to the war, women would have been mostly banned from taking up such jobs.

Some pictures, collected from the Library of Congress, of women engineers and mechanics in WWII.

  • Purple Dave

    The real Rosie the Riveter worked at the Willow Run bomber factory in Ypsilanti, Michigan. The factory was recently scheduled for demolition, but the Yankee Air Museum managed to drag out an agreement to buy the part of the factory where she actually worked until they could eventually scrape up the funds to purchase the property (after three deadline extensions). As of a few months ago, the bulk of the factory was already being torn down, but that one section has been saved, with plans to acquire a B-24 that was actually built there at some point.