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Communication Professor’s Research on ‘Rosie the Riveter’ Featured Worldwide  

Rosie the RiveterWith the passing of Naomi Parker Fraley, believed by many to be the real-life inspiration for the famed "We Can Do It!" poster, Professor James J. Kimble's research on the iconic poster and its subject were featured everywhere. From the front page of the New York Times, the Washington Post and Time magazine to the BBC, Tribune DeGenève (French/Swiss), Europa Press (Spain), (Romania) the Japan Times and the South China Morning Post, articles discussing Kimble's work in the context of the discovery and later death of "Rosie the Riveter" were broadcast across the globe.

In addition to being featured on the front page of the New York Times in the United States, Professor Kimble's work was featured by CNN, USA Today, ABC News, NPR, Newsweek, People, MSN, Fox News, Huffington Post, Inside Edition, the NY Daily News, the Boston Globe and local press, radio and television stations everywhere from the CBS TV News affiliate in Spokane (KREM) to WBBM-AM radio in Chicago and the Star Ledger here in New Jersey.

Internationally, in addition to the outlets named above, Professor Kimble was featured in the Telegraph and the Daily Mail (U.K.), LaPresse (Canada), Huffington Post Italia, News. Ro (Romania), EL Informador (Mexico), the Malay Mail and far too many others to list (a partial listing with links to some of the articles can be found below).

Kimble's research and his discovery of Naomi Parker Fraley had previously been featured in People magazine, NPR's "Academic Minute," the TV show, "Mysteries at the Museum" and a number of other international media outlets.

Professor Kimble Researching 'Rosie the Riveter'Kimble's research, which was published in the journal Rhetoric and Public Affairs, is concerned with the identity of the figure in the famed "We Can Do It!" poster and the cultural and media processes that came to misidentify her in popular culture. Professor Kimble debunked the commonly held and much celebrated belief that a Michigan woman, Geraldine Hoff Doyle, was the model for the poster (you can read more about this process, his work and the cautionary tale it evokes in a feature essay Kimble wrote for Time magazine, "Everyone Was Wrong About the Real 'Rosie the Riveter' for Decades. Here's How the Mystery Was Solved."

Originally produced in 1943 by J. Howard Miller for the Westinghouse Corporation as part of the factory production effort during World War II, the "We Can Do It!" poster was mass reproduced in the 1980s and came to be a revered representation of female empowerment.

Through Kimble's work, many people now believe that Naomi Parker Fraley was the inspiration for the woman pictured in the iconic poster.

For nearly six years, communications professor, James Kimble, researched and traced the identity of the female figure in the poster.

Through an exhaustive study over a period of years, Kimble traced the roots and history of Doyle's claim as well as its media portrayal. During his research, Kimble ultimately unearthed the original photo that is believed by many to be the basis for the poster and, importantly, was the key to Doyle's claim as the iconic poster's model.

The photograph Kimble discovered came complete with the original photographer's caption tag affixed to the back— which names Naomi Parker (Fraley) in Alameda, California, as the subject of the photo, not Geraldine Hoff Doyle in Michigan.

The rest, as they say, is history. Kimble met with Naomi Parker Fraley at her home in California and found a woman in her early nineties somewhat intent on setting the record straight and reclaiming her identity. Ultimately, with Kimble's help she did.


Categories: Arts and Culture , Nation and World

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  • Michael Ricciardelli
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