Women’s Equality Day, “Rosie the Riveter?”

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August 26th is Women’s Equality Day. For today’s maze I am featuring the iconic character from the “We Can Do It!” poster.

The poster was created for Westinghouse Electric in 1942 by Pittsburgh artist J. Howard Miller.

It was one of a series of poster designed to boost moral among female employees during World War II. Women stepped in to fill the jobs previously held by men who were shipped off to fight.

The poster itself was only visible for a few weeks and only by Westinghouse employees. Only 1800 of the poster were produced and distributed primarily to a few factories in the Midwest and the main factory and headquarters in East Pittsburgh, PA. (I grew up less than a mile from that factory!)

After those few weeks the poster vanished into obscurity. It would not be until the the 1980’s that the image was rediscovered and published along side an article about patriotism.  It quickly became associated with women’s empowerment.

The image was  misidentified as Rosie the Riveter. However, the women in the factory made helmet liners and were not in fact riveters.  But, “Rosie the helmet liner maker” just doesn’t have the same feel.

It remains an iconic representation of women’s equality.

So, happy Women’s Equality Day!

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