Beautiful 1940s Images of Real-Life Rosie the Riveters

During World War II, the government encouraged millions of women to begin working in factories and all sectors of the economy as men went to fight overseas. These women “assembled machine guns, built tanks, fabricated airplanes, and helped change the role of women in American society.” By 1945, 18 million women were in the workforce, doing jobs that had traditionally only been available to men, often working 50 hour weeks and making around 65% less than men doing the same jobs had made. The efforts of these women have been represented in popular imagination by the iconic “Rosie the Riveter,” first captured by a Norman Rockwell painting.


The Flickr page of the Library of Congress has an album of color photographs from the 1940s and 1950s containing some amazing photos of real-life Rosie the Riveters during WWII. These are some of our favorites:


Check out the whole album to see more great pictures!

Vanessa Wright