Rosie the Riveter Inspiration Naomi Parker Fraley Dies at 96

J. Howard Miller, Wikimedia Commons // Public Domain
J. Howard Miller, Wikimedia Commons // Public Domain

The real-life inspiration behind a timeless World War II image has died at age 96, CNN reports. Naomi Parker Fraley was a California native and a wartime factory worker, but most people knew her as the real Rosie the Riveter.

Her rise to icon status began in the months following the attack on Pearl Harbor in late 1941. Like thousands of women across the country, she took a job in a factory to aid the war effort. She was 20 years old when she was working in the Naval Air Station in Alameda, California, patching airplane wings and operating rivet machines. It was there that a photographer touring the station snapped the photograph that would launch countless imitations.

In the picture, Fraley is shown leaning over a machine in a jumpsuit with her hair pulled back by a red-and-white polka dot bandana. The photograph was shared in numerous newspapers and magazines and eventually adapted by artist J. Howard Miller in the famous 1943 Rosie the Riveter poster.

The image was originally used as a tool to boost wartime morale, but has since grown into a universal symbol for women’s empowerment. Rosie’s unmistakable look is still a popular source of inspiration for artists and celebrities, but until recently, no one knew the real woman behind the character.

For years, a woman named Geraldine Hoff Doyle was mistakenly identified as the woman in the Naval Air Station photograph. Only when a Seton Hall University professor named James J. Kimble unearthed the original photo with Fraley’s name in the caption was the true subject confirmed. When he reached out to Fraley with the news in 2016, it didn’t come as a total surprise to her. She had recognized herself in the photo when she saw it at a former wartime workers convention a few years earlier, even though the caption named a different woman.

According to her family, Fraley died in hospice care in Longview, Washington on January 20, the same day that hundred of thousands of protesters came out for the second annual Women’s March.

[h/t CNN]

Looking to Downsize? You Can Buy a 5-Room DIY Cabin on Amazon for Less Than $33,000

Five rooms of one's own.
Five rooms of one's own.
Allwood/Amazon

If you’ve already mastered DIY houses for birds and dogs, maybe it’s time you built one for yourself.

As Simplemost reports, there are a number of house kits that you can order on Amazon, and the Allwood Avalon Cabin Kit is one of the quaintest—and, at $32,990, most affordable—options. The 540-square-foot structure has enough space for a kitchen, a bathroom, a bedroom, and a sitting room—and there’s an additional 218-square-foot loft with the potential to be the coziest reading nook of all time.

You can opt for three larger rooms if you're willing to skip the kitchen and bathroom.Allwood/Amazon

The construction process might not be a great idea for someone who’s never picked up a hammer, but you don’t need an architectural degree to tackle it. Step-by-step instructions and all materials are included, so it’s a little like a high-level IKEA project. According to the Amazon listing, it takes two adults about a week to complete. Since the Nordic wood walls are reinforced with steel rods, the house can withstand winds up to 120 mph, and you can pay an extra $1000 to upgrade from double-glass windows and doors to triple-glass for added fortification.

Sadly, the cool ceiling lamp is not included.Allwood/Amazon

Though everything you need for the shell of the house comes in the kit, you will need to purchase whatever goes inside it: toilet, shower, sink, stove, insulation, and all other furnishings. You can also customize the blueprint to fit your own plans for the space; maybe, for example, you’re going to use the house as a small event venue, and you’d rather have two or three large, airy rooms and no kitchen or bedroom.

Intrigued? Find out more here.

[h/t Simplemost]

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Tenino, Washington, Is Loaning Residents Wooden Money to Boost Its Economy

Pixabay, Pexels
Pixabay, Pexels

Like many places around the country, Tenino, Washington, has taken a financial hit during the COVID-19 pandemic. Instead of writing checks to residents in need, the town is printing its own money on wood in an effort to boost the local economy, CNN reports.

Any Tenino resident living below the poverty line can apply for a wooden currency loan. To qualify, they must prove they lost money as a result of the pandemic, but as town mayor Wayne Fournier told The Hustle, “we’re pretty open to what that means.”

One wooden note is worth $25, and qualified candidates can receive up to 12 of them per month—the equivalent of $300. The dollars look unique, with a retro design and a Latin inscription that roughly translates to “We’ve got this handled.” But the special money serves a larger purpose: The notes are only valid at local businesses, which ensures spenders keep the cash within the local economy instead of giving it to major retailers. When a transaction has been made, business owners can take the currency to City Hall and exchange it for real U.S. currency.

This isn't Tenino's first time enduring economic hardship. By 1931, America had entered the Great Depression, and the town's local Citizens Bank had frozen all accounts. Tenino responded by printing its first run of wooden dollars that year. That original program, which was funded by the local Chamber of Commerce instead of the town government, allowed residents to exchange up to 25 percent of their bank deposits for the wooden notes.

Today the bills from the 1930s are collector's items. The town had that part of its history in mind when it launched its new alternative currency program; the wooden dollars circulating today were even printed using the same newspaper press used to make the wooden money 90 years ago.

[h/t CNN]