She was the woman whose face inspired World War II era women to join the factory ranks. She then continued to inspire generations of women with the now very-familiar poster and tagline saying, “We can do it!” Geraldine Doyle, the woman on these popular posters and signs, died over the weekend. She was 86 years old.
Geraldine Hoff Doyle was 17 years old when her image was captured in a seemingly random photograph at a Michigan factory. This image was then used by artist J. Howard Miller as the basis for his popular poster. Interestingly, Doyle told the media that she was unaware of the popularity of this image until she saw herself in a magazine in 1982.
For a number of years, work has progressed on a Rosie the Riveter/World War II Homefront National Historical Park in Richmond, California. One of the purposes of the large-scale museum is to honor both the women and the minority workers who filled the void of factory workers left by the war. In the Richmond facility, military equipment and ship production were two of the main products that were ramped up during the war.
The new historical park presently has a Rosie the Riveter monument but still does not yet have a formal visitor center. One idea is to renovate a 70-year-old oil building for use as the Rosie the Riveter Visitor Center. Park officials suggest that a visitor center may open by next fall.