A Rosie who’s still riveting, even at 93

Imagine “Rosie the Riveter,” the figure inspired by the wave of women who took to the nation’s factories during World War II to help fuel the country’s victory. Does she resemble a 93-year-old woman, working hard at constructing a C-17?

If so, then you probably already knew Elinor Otto, which is kind of cheating, but nonetheless, she’s a the feisty elderly worker whose first day on the assembly line was in 1942, and who is still spending her days working at a Boeing factory in Long Beach.

At the plant, she would make the others laugh at how fast she could rivet, she says, quickly moving her hands and stomping her feet to demonstrate.

The men resented the women at first — smoking was banned and shirts had to stay on — and doubted that they could get the job done, she says.

"It turned out we worked better than them, faster, because they were so sure of themselves."

Read Samantha Schaefer’s full story here.

Photos: Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times

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