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15 Vivid Color Photos Show The Real-Life "Rosie The Riveter"

"We are strong, we are young, we are vital, and we are powerful. That’s what Alfred Palmer's pictures say."

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After the United States entered World War II in 1941, America's women answered the call by filling the industrial void left as their husbands and sons were called to battle.

The Library of Congress keeps a stunning collection of approximately 1,600 color photographs made by the U.S. government's Farm Security Administration (FSA) and the Office of War Information (OWI) that depict what life was like during this turbulent period in American history.

Beverly Brannan, the curator of 20th-century documentary photography at the Library of Congress, tells BuzzFeed the story behind these stunning pictures:


"Roy Stryker, the man who initiated this project, envisioned these pictures to be seen as a time capsule."

"He wanted to represent what America looked like during the Great Depression, and as things went on, World War II."


"Documenting the women who took over in the factories during World War II was also a large part of this initiative."

"In countries all over the Western world, women went to work in jobs that had been reserved for men, while those men went off to fight the Axis powers."

Library of Congress

Mrs. Eloise J. Ellis was appointed as the senior supervisor in the Assembly and Repairs Department at the Naval Air Base, Corpus Christi, Texas. She boosts morale in her department by arranging suitable living conditions for out-of-state employees and by helping them with their war-time problems. August 1942.

"Before the war had started, Germany had published pictures of down-and-out Americans taken during the Great Depression."


"They would publish captions like, 'Look! America is weak!' 'It’s just old people and children!' 'Theres no need to worry about them as adversaries!'"


"So when we finally got into the war, we needed a different kind of face to show."

"Which was why the United States Government then commissioned Alfred Palmer, an advertising photographer, to shoot an alternate narrative of a strong-looking America for our adversaries to see."

Library of Congress

"Mrs. Mary Betchner is seen inspecting one of the 25 cutters for burrs before inserting it in the inside of a 105mm. Howitzer tank. Her son is in the army and her husband is in war work." February 1943.

"We are strong, we are young, we are vital, and we are powerful. And that’s what Alfred Palmer's pictures say instead."

To learn more about the large collection of historic images at the Library of Congress, be sure to check out their website at