Rosie The Riveter: One Of The Most Famous Icons In American History

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Rosie the Riveter was starred in the famous World War II era propaganda campaign and eventually came one of the most famous icons in American history. But who exactly was Rosie the Riveter? And what’s the story behind her well-known image? To start with it’s not really about a riveter named Rosie, it’s not even about one woman, but about millions. At the point when America entered World War II, California’s Dust Bowl displaced people were watch or been to the Armed Services and into wartime generation. Southern California ruled the air ship industry the San Francisco Bay Area commanded the shipyards. California was likewise a noteworthy maker of oil, steel, elastic, apparatus, and electrical hardware. With such huge numbers of men entering the Armed Forces, it left a huge void in the workforce and there was a desperate need to fill their shoes. But who could they find who was strong enough hardworking in them and not afraid of heavy labor? Women. Everywhere women look there were signs pointing the way to jobs, uncle Sam was making every effort to lure every woman into the factories to fill his vacant positions. There was even a door to door campaigns encouraging women to do their patriotic duty and enter the workforce. Many homes had blue stars hanging on the doors indicating a loved serving in the military. Chances are the women who lived here happy to oblige. In fact, many women took on the challenge and went off to work. Ladies were enlisted to perform employments that had been generally held by men. Six million women joined, according to the article “Rosie the Riveter” “Between 1940 and 1945, the female percentage of the U.S. workforce increased from 27 percent to nearly 37 percent, and by 1945 nearly one out of every four married women worked outside the home” (“Rosie the Riveter”). Half of these women took on tough jobs. Machine, device administrators, and welders. Ladies worked in manufacturing plants delivering, bombs, tanks, boats, and planes they found that they could procure compensation sufficiently high to make them autonomous, and the seeds were sown for the ladies’ developments that pursued. Even though the women were paid far less than the men, about 50 percent of the men’s wages, while doing the same exact jobs, but still the women were proud to be doing important war time work during this time. As husbands fought in the overseas, wives were building equipment they needed to win the war.

Rosie was first introduced to the public in a popular song called “Rosie the Riveter” released in early 1943, the song was made famous by Swing bandleader James Kern “Kay” Kyser. Norman Rockwell had undoubtedly heard the song when he painted a female riveter on her lunch break for the Memorial Day issue of the Saturday evening post that year. Posed like the prophet Isaiah in Michelangelo’s famous painting, Sistine Chapel Ceiling, she rests her foot on a copy of Hitler’s Mein Kampf, her riveting gun rests on her lap while her lunch box clearly reads “Rosie”. Rockwell’s model was a dental hygienist named Mary Keefe. But was there a real Rosie the Riveter?

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After Rockwell’s cover appeared on new stances, the press lost no time in casting real life Rosie’s. One of the most well-known was Rose Will Monroe, who worked as a Riveter B-24 and B-49 Bomber airplanes. But Rosie the Riveter was bigger than just one woman. She was the symbol of the war time work and sacrifice of millions. Though Rockwell’s painting was the original depiction of Rosie, she’s most widely identified with a different image. In 1942 the year before the Rosie song was released, the Westinghouse power company commissioned J. Howard Miller to create a promotionally poster that would boost morale on its employees. The now famous poster featured a bandana woman flexing her arm muscles under the slogan “We can do it!”. Due to copy right restrictions on Rockwell’s work, Miller’s “We can do it!” Poster was adopted by the feminist movement of the 1980s as modern symbol of female empowerment. According to Myers, Sarah, and G. Kurt Piehler, “the slogan “We Can Do It!” was originally about winning the war. But it’s now meant to suggest women can do anything they put their minds to.” (Myers & Piehler). It is now the image most commonly associated with Rosie, from wartime propaganda to feminist symbol, Rosie has remained a riveting icon in American history. After the war, many women returned to traditional roles on the job and in the home, but new doors and opportunities would open up for women all because Rosie the Riveters answered their country’s call for help, said “We can do it” and then got the job done.


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