Rosie's Girls Are Building the Future


When we learned about the death last week of Naomi Parker Fraley — whose photographed image is believed to have inspired the iconic "We Can Do It" propaganda poster depicting Rosie the Riveter — we were reminded of the 2011 Wired magazine cover featuring Adafruit founder Limor Fried. It was the first time Wired had put a female engineer on its cover, so Ladyada struck a fitting Rosie pose, showing off her biceps with a power tool aimed at the sky.

Sure, "Rosie the Riveter" and "We Can Do It" are more than a little cutesy and condescending. But the real women who went to work in factories during WWII cracked a major glass ceiling that enabled women to level up ever since. So here's to all the Rosies: the ones who did it then, the ones who are doing it now, and the ones who will grow up to build the world of tomorrow.

Last Rosie Riveting

Elinor Otto went to work building aircraft in 1942 — and pretty much didn't stop until a few years ago. When the war ended and the men came back to the factories, Otto worked in an office and did a stint as a carhop before she went back to the factory in 1951. After ending up at Boeing, she worked on every aircraft the company manufactured until she retired in 2014 at NINETY-FIVE! 

Camps for Rosie's Girls

Every DIY girl's gotta know her way around a set of tools. If you're still looking to find summer activities for your little makers, here are some camps and programs around the country that'll get them drilling, hammering, sawing — maybe even outright riveting! 

Girls Garage

Girls Build

Construction Kids

Girls at Work

Tinkering School

Please try this at home.

No, we're not going to suggest that you fire up a hydraulic riveter or an arc welder at home. But here's a great tutorial, from our pals at, on a tool every maker should know how to use (and pronounce correctly). 

Let's solder!

Joel TopcikComment