Due to the Woozle effect, Naomi Parker nearly didn't discover her claim to fame.
Doyle was no con artist. The Rosie on the poster looked so strikingly similar to Doyle’s own photos of herself from the 1940s, right down to the polka-dotted bandanna, that it was hard to believe it wasn’t her. And though the hypothesis was never proven, the story was repeated so many times that it became accepted as fact (this is known as the Woozle effect), even gaining Doyle official recognition from the Women’s History Hall of Fame in Michigan.
But James J. Kimble, writer and professor at Seton Hall University, wanted to know for sure. So he set off on a six-year investigation for the original photo that inspired J. Howard Miller’s iconic poster. Finally, he found one, and a scribbled caption from the photographer (whose name is unknown) solved the mystery: “Pretty Naomi Parker looks like she might catch her nose in the turret lathe she is operating, but she knows to keep her nose out of her business.”
When Kimble tracked her down, Naomi Parker (now Naomi Farley) was alive and excited to hear that her photo had inspired the poster. Thankfully, Naomi was able to reclaim her identity as the original Rosie before her recent passing, but the sorry lesson of accepting facts without proof is one that Kimble hopes all will learn from his investigation.
Read more of the story here.
Since you are here…
…we’d like to have one more word with you. We are excited to report that Aleteia’s readership is growing at a rapid rate, world-wide! Our team proves its mission every day by providing high-quality content that informs and inspires a Christian life. But quality journalism has a cost and it’s more than ads can cover. We want our articles to be accessible to everyone, free of charge, but we need your help. To continue our efforts to nourish and inspire our Catholic family, your support is invaluable. Become an Aleteia Patron today for as little as $3 a month. May we count on you?