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Rosie the Riveter - the real story

The Rosie the Riveter image is one of our best-selling vintage metal signs. But who was she? You'll have seen her image everywhere.

Rosie the Riveter is one of the most recognisable images to come out of 1940s America. Her determined face and pose backed by the chest beating slogan, 'We can do it!' Rosie exhorted the women folk of America to come out of the kitchen and go to work in the industries trying to support the American war effort. She was, and still is, a powerful and icon figure.

Who is Rosie the Riveter?

J. Howard Miller was the artist who drew the famous poster. He worked for the giant Westinghouse Electric Corporation. Westinghouse went on to become CBS. Miller drew the poster featuring Rosie the Riveter during the height of the Second World War.

At the time there was a shortage of labour in American factories. The government tried to combat this by recruiting women for the jobs soldiers had left behind.

rosie the rivetter vintage metal sign

In the decades since the end of the Second World War Rosie has become a feminist icon. A figure who epitomises the 'can do' attitude of modern women. She's appeared on media as diverse as stamps and magazine covers. Female politicians have used her image to publicise their campaigns.

But is Rosie all she appears to be?

Rosie the Riveter - a story that got better with the telling

In the 1980s Rosie sprang from nowhere to become an image associated with feminism. She became a rallying point for women around the world. And synonymous with the feminine movement. Women everywhere took inspiration from this wonderful poster which did so much to empower women in the 1940s. Except it didn't.

Unfortunately, the real story of Rosie the Riveter is a little less compelling than the myth. The truth is the poster wasn’t displayed in public. Westinghouse used it internally for a few weeks. Hardly anyone actually saw it.

All of which is a great shame. But it doesn't detract from what a fantastic poster it is. And the fact that she became such a powerful advocate for modern women will no doubt have pleased Rosie.

And Rosie the Riveter looks as good today as she did back in the 1940s. And you can have Rosie on your wall at home or in the office thanks to our vintage metal sign.

Check out all the vintage metal signs available at OldnDazed. There's dozens to choose from and we add more every month.


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About us

 Somehow, through the many wonders of the interweb you've found yourself at the OldnDazed store. Happy days.

Our store is full of delightfully vintage styled gifts. You'll love all the things you can find on here. We're all about retro and crap humour. And you'll find both of those things in spades on this site and on our blog at oldndazed.co.uk.

Once you've spent bundles of cash in the store head over to the blog for some nostalgia filled reading. Don't forget our Facebook page either. It's a joyful place to hang out.

What is the OldnDazed store?

OldnDazed is a bit of fun for old gits of all ages. And we've got really good stuff for you to look through.

Check out our original art work and cartoons and vintage metal signs. We'll get your order sent out to you within 24 hours of receiving it. Of course how long the postie takes to get it to you is out of our hands. But you won't be waiting too long. Hopefully.

If there's nothing on our virtual shelves you feel an illogical compulsion to buy do make sure you come back. We're going to be constantly adding new lines in a desperate attempt to find something people actually want.

A little more about OldnDazed

Enough of the waffle. Let's tell you a bit more about us. We're based in the garden city of Hull, the cosmopolitan and cultural capital of East Yorkshire. Our large staff (me and the missus when she can be arsed) would love to hear from you. We'd like your money even more to be honest but feel free to get in touch.

You can find our contact details here.

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