As USA celebrates Labor Day, we celebrate a “hero”-ine in the making. This poster which later became an iconic representation of the struggle by women for equality and workplace rights dates from WWII. The “We Can Do It” poster was created by J. Howard Miller in 1942 for the Westinghouse Company’s War Production Coordinating Committee to attract women into the traditionally male workforce for the war effort. During WWII, the percentage of women in the workforce increased from 25% to 37%, while women in aeronautics jumped from 1% to 65%.
The poster was based on a United Press photograph pic of Michigan factory worker Geraldine Doyle. During the 1970s and 1980s, the Miller poster which was not well known in the 1940s was rediscovered and became famous as “Rosie The Riveter.” Maybe this is how legends and heroes are born.
You can check out the Saturday Evening Post 1943 version of Rosie the Riveter by Norman Rockwell and my Labor Day potato salad recipe on my webpage.