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Thread: Inspiration for the "We Can Do It!" poster dies

  1. #1
    Super Moderator twitchy2.0's Avatar
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    Default Inspiration for the "We Can Do It!" poster dies

    Model who inspired the Rosie the Riveter 'We Can Do It!' WWII poster campaign dies at 86

    By Daily Mail "Reporter"
    Last updated at 5:17 PM on 31st December 2010

    The inspiration behind one of the most famous campaign posters of World War Two has died at the age of 86.

    Geraldine Hoff Doyle was just another young factory worker in Ann Arbor, Michigan in 1942. But a chance visit to the plant by a United Press photographer was to make her one of the most recognisable faces in poster art, now known as Rosie the Riveter.

    The 17-year-old was operating a metal-stamping machine when the photographer passed by - and couldn't resist taking a picture of the tall, slender and glamorously beautiful brunette wearing a polka-dot bandanna over her hair.

    Call to arms: The 1942 poster appealing for U.S. women to work in munitions and other heavy industries to help the war effort

    She can do it: Geraldine Hoff Doyle, hair tied up for safety, at work in a Michigan metal shop in 1942, the picture that inspired the poster

    The image was forwarded to Pittsburgh artist J. Howard Miller, who was commissioned to create a series of morale-building posters to inspire factory workers.

    The result was We Can Do It! - a poster encouraging other young women to join the war effort by taking on jobs vacated by men called to the front.

    Eventually six million women would heed the call and enter the workforce during the war years. The poster grew to become an icon of women's equality.

    Doyle's daughter, Stephanie Gregg, told the Los Angeles Times: 'She had just graduated, and some of the young men had left school to volunteer to fight. A couple had been killed, and she felt she wanted to do something for the war effort.'
    She did not discover until much later in life that she was the model for the campaign poster, perhaps because she left her factory job after two weeks or did not have the bulging biceps the artist gifted her.
    Doyle, a cellist, had learned that a worker had injured her hands at the factory, and decided to get a safer job at a soda fountain and bookshop.
    The image became an instant classic. In the early 1940s, Red Evans and John Jacob Loeb wrote the song Rosie the Riveter. In 1943, the Saturday Evening Post put a Norman Rockwell illustration of another female worker with the name “Rosie” painted on her lunch pail and it became a nickname for all women factory workers.
    Another Michigan woman, Rose Will Monroe, was featured in a promotional film that same year about women in the factories and was, for a while, the most well-known Rosie.

    Model: The young Geraldine Hoff Doyle and in later life with poster she inspired

    Rosie the Riveter became a lasting emblem, later adopted by the women’s rights movements of the 1960s and 1970s. In 1999, the U.S. Postal Service created a We Can Do It! stamp.
    In 1984, married to a dentist and a mother to five children, Doyle came across an article in a magazine that connected her photo with the wartime poster, which she hadn’t seen before.
    'The arched eyebrows, the beautiful lips, the shape of the face – that’s her,' daughter Gregg said, 'she didn’t have those big muscles. She was busy playing cello. Nonetheless, when she saw it, she said, “This is me!” '

    For years, Doyle signed Rosie the Riveter t-shirts, posters, and more. While many profited from her image, she never charged a penny to fans, her daughter said.

    'She would say that she was the 'We Can Do It!' girl," Gregg told the Lansing State Journal. "She never wanted to take anything away from the other Rosies.'

    'She was tickled to recognise that she was the inspiration for so many women. She would say that she was the We Can Do It! girl.'

    Source: Geraldine Hoff Doyle, the model who inspired the 'We Can Do It!' WWII poster campaign dies at 86 | Mail Online
    As Canadian as possible under the circumstances


    "What's traitors, precious?" -- President Gollum

  2. #2
    Elite Member Seapharris7's Avatar
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    "She did not discover until much later in life that she was the model for the campaign poster, perhaps because she left her factory job after two weeks or did not have the bulging biceps the artist gifted her."

    ... So, she really couldnt do it, huh?
    Sugar... The real gateway drug

  3. #3
    Elite Member Sylkyn's Avatar
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    Indahood, AL


    I don't see any sign of a bulging bicep in that picture whatsoever. But I think the woman herself was absolutely gorgeous.

  4. #4
    Hit By Ban Bus! AliceInWonderland's Avatar
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    Oct 2005
    you already know.


    rest in peace

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