Rosie the Riveter girls, seen in the iconic World War II posters and celebrated in the song of the same name, supported the war effort by filling tens of thousands of jobs vacated by the men who had joined the fighting overseas. Now its been discovered that one of the original Rosie the Riveter girls from that era is still riveting airplanes at the age of 93 in Southern California, according to NBC News on Sept. 26.
Elinor Otto, 93, still gets up at 4 a.m. each morning and drives to the Boeing plant in Long Beach, Calif., where she drives rivets into the wing sections of C-17 cargo planes. It's a job she's been doing at various aircraft assembly plants since way back in 1942.
"We were part of this big thing," Otto said, according to the Daily News. She added that as part of the war effort, the Rosie the Riveter women worked hard, and were proud of the job they did.
Otto admitted part of the draw was also financial, since jobs were hard to come by during wartime, and she needed the money to pay for daycare for her young son.
Back then she earned just 65 cents an hour, and paid her $20 per month daycare out of that. Now she earns nearly $40 an hour. Click here to see more photos of Elinor at work today.
Even though she didn't clear that much over her child care costs, she still was able to pay some other bills, and she loved the routine and camaraderie of the job.
However, Otto recalls how when the war ended, all the "Rosies" were gone within days. She briefly tried office work, but that didn't appeal to her. A short stint as a carhop ended when she learned she had to do the job on roller skates.
With bills still to pay, Elinor lucked in with the resultant booming aircraft industry in Southern California. Following the war she was brought back to the assembly line, thanks in large part to her skill set as an ace with a rivet gun.
Otto and all the other women who worked alongside her through the war years and since, are being credited with also spurring the women’s rights movement. In honor of all of their service, this month the city of Long Beach founded the Rosie the Riveter Park.
Elinor admits she's a working person at heart. She likes to be around people that work. "I like to get up, get out of the house, get something accomplished during the day," she said.
You can say that again. Way to go Elinor!