SHU professor uncovers real Rosie the Riveter

The world spent years thinking that the Rosie the Riveter poster was Geraldine Hoff-Doyle and that is what is remembered in the history of World War II.

The real Rosie the Riveter, Naomi Parker-Fraley. Photo via James Kimble.

The real Rosie the Riveter, Naomi Parker-Fraley. Photo via James Kimble.

This view changed when Dr. James Kimble, Associate Professor of Communication, decided to research the identity of Rosie the Riveter and made sure that there is actual evidence pointing to Hoff-Doyle.

For many years, Rosie the Riveter’s identity was mistaken to be Hoff-Doyle when in fact the real woman in the poster representing working women during World War II was Naomi Parker-Fraley.

Kimble, who has studied World War II propaganda, was inspired to do this research because of some previous work he had done on looking at the myths about this poster and kept coming across Hoff-Doyle but never saw the real caption claiming it is her. Kimble started his research by “leaping page by page through magazines” for years, he said.

Once Kimble found the original photo and identified Parker-Fraley as the woman in the photo, an article was published about his research in People Magazine and on NPR.

Kimble stated that being recognized for this hard work felt, “unreal because the research is in the past and now people are talking in the media.”

His main reason for doing this research and hard work was because, “historical accuracy is important,” he said.

Kimble explained how reaching his goal felt “pretty amazing, one of the top moments of my career.”

He also had the pleasure of meeting Parker-Fraley, which he described as “amazing and tremendous.”
Kimble’s advice to other researchers trying to publish their work is that it needs to be the right timing because “you can’t tell for sure what will interest.”

Another reason why Kimble was able to get published is because of all the hard work that was done by Seton Hall’s public relations team.

One of  Kimble’s students, Erica Naumann, a senior communication major, said that she was “shocked” once she found out her professor had been published.

She said,“ I was so excited to read about his research and felt honored to have been taught by him for multiple classes.”

Naumann went on to say that Kimble is a great professor who has always made her want to work harder. Not only has Kimble’s research affected the world by revealing the truth about Rosie the Riveter but, it has also inspired his students to want to follow in his footsteps.

Biljana Simakoska can be reached at biljana.simakoska@student.shu.edu.

Author: Biljana Simakoska

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