Rosie the Riveter
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Rockwell used the name Rosie the Riveter for his cover for the May
29, 1943 Saturday Evening Post, which depicted Rosie (model Mary Doyle
Keefe). Rockwell admitted that "I made a mistake in the detail
that people will be calling me down for. The cover shows Rosie with
goggles on and a risinglass protective shield." For two mornings,
Keefe was paid $5 a day for the two sittings. On May 22, 2002,
Rockwell's painting of Rosie the Riveter was auctioned by Sotheby's
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The image most associated with Rosie is J. Howard
Miller's famous poster for Westinghouse, entitled We Can Do It!, which
was modeled on Michigan factory worker Geraldine Doyle in 1942.
But the woman in the painting bore no name. In fact, this picture was
not meant to represent Rosie the Riveter at all. Penny Colman writes
that "Since the 1970s, this poster has been mistakenly labeled Rosie
the Riveter and has been reprinted on posters, magazine covers, and
many other items." It wasn't until several years later that the
connection was made between the name "Rosie" and the image.
The Real Rosie
Rosie the Riveter was most closely associated with a real woman, Rose
Will Monroe, who was born in Coppell, Texas in 1920 and moved to
II. She worked as a riveter at the Willow Run Aircraft Factory
in Ypsilanti, Michigan, building B-29 and B-24 bombers for the U.S.
Army Air Forces. Monroe was asked to star in a promotional film about
the war effort at home, and was featured in a poster campaign. The
song "Rosie the Riveter" by Redd Evans and John Jacob Loeb was
released in early 1943, and Monroe happened to best fit the
description of the worker depicted in the song. Rose went on to become
perhaps the most widely recognized icon of that era. The films and
posters she appeared in were used by the U.S. government to encourage
women to go to work in support of the war effort.