“We can do it!” the poster says in bold white letters across a background of navy. A woman wearing a red and white polka dot scarf, and blue work shirt rolled up to the elbow looks out at you while clenching her fist as if to show off her strength. Her intention? To inspire women to join the work force during World War II. Later, the poster became the image of “Rosie the Riveter”, who was portrayed in a song by Redd Evans and John Jacob Loeb.
Rosie became an icon everywhere throughout the Women's Movement, and inspired many a woman to remain in the work force when the boys came home.
The woman in the poster was inspired by real life factory worker Geraldine Hoff Doyle, of Lansing, Mich. Geraldine's father died when she was 10 years old. Her mother was stricken with scoliosis. So when Geraldine graduated from high school, she found work as a metal presser. While she was working, a photograph was taken over her that J. Howard Miller would later use for his painting.
Geraldine Doyle passed away, Sunday, at 86 years old, but her image will remain in the hearts and minds, and on the walls, of many a woman.
All the day long,
Whether rain or shine
She’s part of the assembly line.
She’s making history,
Working for victory
Rosie the Riveter