In another of my “famous” themes; Time Loves A Hero, I recently began to wonder about “Rosie the Riveter.” I had read an article about the recent demolition of Boeing’s plant number 2 in Seattle; the site of so many “Rosie The Riveters;” women who built, and assembled military aircraft during World War Two. There’s an iconic photo that I always associated with the “Original Rosie” (photo below). What is also interesting about that building is Boeing covered and painted the roof of the plant to resemble the houses and landscape of the neighborhood so the plant would blend in as camouflage should there ever be an aerial attack at the facility. Back to Rosie; when I went to investigate some information about Rosie, I came to find out the picture I see in my head became more famous from the 1980’s than it was from the 1940’s. “Way back when,” photography was not digitally shot, and categorized. In fact, recently in the news, the man on the cover of Life Magazine who claimed he was the sailor who kissed the nurse in Times Square at the end of WWII recently died. Controversy still hangs around that picture as to the true identity of the sailor in the picture.
I thought it was interesting enough to include this paragraph on Rosie that I found on Wikipedia to help keep the record straight.
In 1942, Pittsburgh artist J. Howard Miller was hired by the Westinghouse Company’s War Production Coordinating Committee to create a series of posters for the war effort. One of these posters became the famous “We Can Do It!” image—an image that in later years would also be called “Rosie the Riveter”, though it was never given this title during the war. Miller is thought to have based his “We Can Do It!” poster on a United Press International wire service photograph taken of Ann Arbor, Michigan, factory worker Geraldine Hoff (later Doyle), who was 17 and briefly working as a metal-stamping machine operator. The intent of the poster was to keep production up by boosting morale, not to recruit more women workers. It was shown only to Westinghouse employees in the Midwest during a two-week period in February 1943, then it disappeared for nearly four decades. During the war, the name “Rosie” was not associated with the image, and it was not about women’s empowerment. It was only later, in the early 1980s, that the Miller poster was rediscovered and became famous, associated with feminism, and often mistakenly called “Rosie The Riveter”.[