October 20, 2005

6:10 minutes

Interviewed by Ann Kelsey

Filmed by Michael O’Hagan

For the County College of Morris, Learning Resource Center

Randolph, New Jersey

Rosie the Riveter Project

Transcribed by Jardee Transcription, Tucson, Arizona

Kelsey:  Where were you born?

Cicatelli:  I was born in Throop, Pennsylvania.

Kelsey:  And where were you living when World War II started?

Cicatelli:  Pennsylvania, and then I moved to New Jersey in 1942.

Kelsey:  And where did you move to in New Jersey?

Cicatelli:  I moved to Newark.

Kelsey:  Were you married then?

Cicatelli:  No.

Kelsey:  Why did you come to New Jersey?

Cicatelli:  Because of the work.

Kelsey:  So you were looking for a job?

Cicatelli:  My dad moved out here for work.

Kelsey:  So you were still living with your parents then?

Cicatelli:  Yes.

Kelsey:  And that was in 1942?

Cicatelli:  Uh-huh.

Kelsey:  And how did you get into working in defense plants, in war industries?

Cicatelli:  Well, I went in to look for a job, and I got to work at Bendix.  It was a division of Bendix in East Orange that I

            worked for.

Kelsey:  And what year was that?

Cicatelli:  In ’42.

Kelsey:  What did you do there?

Cicatelli:  We were packaging parts to send overseas to the boys for their motor vehicles and everything.  We had men in

             the shop that put them in wax, after we packed them, so they wouldn’t get destroyed.

Kelsey:  How long did you work there?

Cicatelli:  I worked there until 1945.

Kelsey:  Were you looking for a job in that kind of an industry, or were you just looking for any job?

Cicatelli:  Well, I went to look for a job—anything.

Kelsey:  And then what did you do after you left there in 1945?

Cicatelli:  The war was over, I went to work for Ronson Cigarette Lighters in 1945.

Kelsey:  And did you resign from Bendix, or were you laid off?

Cicatelli:  We were laid off after the war.

Kelsey:  And then how long did you work for Ronson?

Cicatelli:  Until 1953.

Kelsey:  Did you get married during that time?

Cicatelli:  No.

Kelsey:  And then what did you do?

Cicatelli:  I went to be a hairdresser.

Kelsey:  Varied careers!  And did you go to school for that?

Cicatelli:  Yes, I did.  I’m a licensed hairdresser.

Kelsey:  And how long did you work at that?

Cicatelli:  I worked for a couple of years at it, and then when I got married I stayed home to take care of my daughter.

Kelsey:  So you got married then during that time period?

Cicatelli:  Uh-huh.

Kelsey:  And did you go out to work again?

Cicatelli:  No.

Kelsey:  So of the several jobs that you had, which did you think was the most interesting or the most important?

Cicatelli:  Well, at the time of the war, that was important to me.  After that, it was my hairdressing.

Kelsey:  So you enjoyed the hairdressing the most?

Cicatelli:  A little.

Kelsey:  And why was the war work important?

Cicatelli:  To help out.

Kelsey:  You were describing how they put the parts you were making in wax.

Cicatelli:  Well, we would pack them in boxes, and wrap them in paper.  And then the men would take them and dip

             them.  They would put an extra wrapping on it, and then put them in this wax.

Kelsey:  And was that meant to keep it dry?

Cicatelli:  Yes.

Kelsey:  What did they use these parts for?

Cicatelli:  I guess for their vehicles that they had to use it for.

Kelsey:  So they were….

Cicatelli:  Parts for their vehicles.

Kelsey:  Okay, I think that’s great.

Cicatelli:  They were certainly different parts.  We were packing, and we didn’t know where they were going, but they

            were going for their vehicles, in case they were broke down and they had to fix them.  So this was our job.

Kelsey:  Every job was definitely important.

Cicatelli:  Yes.






The Learning Resource Center at the County College of Morris

214 Center Grove Road, Randolph, New Jersey 07869