By Erica Kearns
From Porter’s Creek to Akron, Ohio, Edith White Franks stepped up in a time of need and led the way for generations of women to follow. Born and raised on the Elk River near the Clay-Kanawha County line, Edith was the only daughter of the late Conis and Florence Myers White. Pearl Harbor had been bombed and World War II was in full swing by the time Edith graduated high school and she felt compelled to help. Borrowing enough money from her parents to get established in Akron, Ohio, Edith went to work for Goodyear Aircraft Corporation at the age of nineteen. Learning the tricks of the trade came easily for Edith and she became a vital part of the war effort being fought on the home front. Every day for two and a half years, Edith climbed into Corsair airplanes alongside her partner Ann Downey and alternated riveting and bucking panels on the planes. Taking great pride in her craft, Edith’s riveting rarely had a problem passing U.S. Navy inspections. The war ended and Edith continued her life in Akron, marrying World War II veteran Mack Franks. But Edith would never forget her, or the other Rosie’s, contributions to the war and she wanted to ensure no one else did either. Starting a campaign to recognize the Rosies, Edith is working to display a Rosie the Riveter poster in each and every air museum in the country. Largely successful, Edith’s effort is yet another example of the we-can-do-it attitude the Rosie’s embody.