October 20, 2005

5:42 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?

Bracigliano:  Paterson, New Jersey.

Kelsey:  And where did you live when World War II started?

Bracigliano:  Well, I had lived on Madison Street, but when my husband went in service, I went back and lived with my mom, 300 Grand Street, in Paterson.

Kelsey:  So you were married when the war started?

Bracigliano:  Yes, June 14, 1942.

Kelsey:  And did you have any children?

Bracigliano:  Not ’til after.

Kelsey:  Why did you decide to go to work in the defense industry?

Bracigliano:  My husband was drafted, he got his greeting.  We got married in June, he got his greetings in September, and he left January 2, 1943.  So after that I decided to go and do something, do my part.

Kelsey:  Where did he go?

Bracigliano:  Well, first he went to Fort Dix, and then he went over to the Olds plant in Lansing, Michigan, which I went,

            because he had to put guns together blindfolded—put them together and take ’em apart.  And then he left from

            North Carolina over to India, where he was in the Air Force.

Kelsey:  Where did you go to work?

Bracigliano:  I went to work in Wright Aeronautical, Plant 7, in Wood Ridge.

Kelsey:  And what did you do there?

Bracigliano:  Well, first we had to be tested to see what we qualified for, and then I became an engine tester for the B-

            29s.  It was a very restricted area.  We actually had to put engines up, we had to hoist them up on a wind

            tunnel, pick out wooden props that were acclimated to the pressure—the pressure outside.  Then we’d have to

            test them for a couple of hours.  You were either the pilot or the observer, and you had to take a record.  Then

            when that finished, you had to go back down, and you had to check for oil leaks, gas leaks, any loose parts. 

            We had government inspectors come.  And once that was all corrected, we would test them again.  And our

            names were on log sheets.  The funny thing is, my husband was in service in India, and working on bombs and

            so forth, and he come across a log sheet with my name on it, which was quite a surprise and proud for him, to

            show and tell everyone.  But that was something.

Kelsey:  And how long did you work there?

Bracigliano:  From ’43 to ’46 when he got out of service.  And by that time the war was considered pretty much over.

Kelsey:  So did you resign?

Bracigliano:  We were all kind of let go, more or less.  I guess maybe just supervision or something was kept, but all the

             workers….  But as far as being in a restricted area, we were even where they had turbo engines, also, which

             was quite interesting for me.  I can’t believe I did all that!

Kelsey:  What did you do then, after you left Wright?

Bracigliano:  Well, that year I had my daughter, the one who got in touch with you.  And then four years later another

            daughter.  Then after, when my children were older, I worked on little things for the Minutemen for the missiles, in


Kelsey:  What company was that?

Bracigliano:  Seal-O-Matic it was called.  And that was in Haledon.

Kelsey:  Do you think that working in that plant and doing those things, that you couldn’t believe that you could all do it?

             Do you think that made a difference in your life?

Bracigliano:  Oh, it did!  We had picked furniture out when we were first married, and I was proud that I was able to pay

            off that bill, working.

And one other thing I wanted to say:  My mom worked in Plant 4 for Wrights, and she was a baffle maker for a

couple of years.  So she was a real Rosie, because she would do the riveting and so forth on these baffles.

Kelsey:  And what are baffles?

Bracigliano:  Baffles go around the pistons to keep the heat, to protect the heat, because they go so many rpms and so


Kelsey:  And these were airplane parts?

Bracigliano:  For airplanes, yes.  But that was in Plant 4 in Fair Lawn.

Kelsey:  All right.  Well, thank you very much, that was very interesting.  I learn a lot from each interview.

Bracigliano:  Thank you so much.






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214 Center Grove Road, Randolph, New Jersey 07869