A lifetime on the front production line: One of the original Rosie the Riveters, 93, still doing the same work she began during WW2 (27 September 2013)





When Elinor Otto entered an aircraft assembly factory during World War II, she never imagined that she would still be working as a riveter more than 70 years later.

The 93-year-old first joined the workforce as a single mom in 1942, piecing together planes at Rohr Aircraft Corporation in Chula Vista to support the war effort.

But rather than dip out of work or take a traditionally 'female' job at the war's end like other 'Rosie the Riveter' women, Otto returned to the plane assembly line where she felt most productive.

She worked at the Ryan Aeronautical Co. in San Diego for 14 years, before moving to her current job at Long Beach's C-17 plant, the state's last large military aircraft production line.

'I'm a working person, I guess. I like to work. I like to be around people that work,' she told NBC News.

'I like to get up, get out of the house, get something accomplished during the day.'

She said retiring at the standard age was never an option, because she had to care for her son and mother, and she had 'endless energy'.
Although when Boeing finishes off its last contract for the cargo planes, she will probably have to call it a day.


While the Long Beach resident admits that riveting is not an occupation in which you'd expect to find an elderly woman, the work helps to keep her on her toes.
She is out of bed every morning at 4am and gets a coffee and newspaper, before starting work by 6am.

She parks as far away from the plant as possible so she can walk over - her morning exercise.
'Gotta keep moving!' she chirps.


The great grandmother's dedication and longevity have made her a local legend, with her boss admitting he sometimes turns to her for professional advice.


'She's an inspiration,' colleague Craig Ryba, a structural mechanic, said. 'She just enjoys working and enjoys life.'

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history still alive?? she's a tuff ole bird. my late mother was one to