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Posted at 1:15 PM ET, 12/31/2010

The real Rosie

By Ezra Klein

WeCanDoItPoster[1].jpgIt turns out that Rosie the Riveter was not a huge fan of riveting:

One day, a photographer representing United Press International came to her factory and captured Mrs. Doyle leaning over a piece of machinery and wearing a red and white polka-dot bandanna over her hair.

In early 1942, the Westinghouse Corp. commissioned artist J. Howard Miller to produce several morale-boosting posters to be displayed inside its buildings. The project was funded by the government as a way to motivate workers and perhaps recruit new ones for the war effort.

Smitten with the UPI photo, Miller reportedly was said to have decided to base one of his posters on the anonymous, slender metal worker - Mrs. Doyle.

For four decades, this fact escaped Mrs. Doyle, who shortly after the photo was taken left her job at the factory. She barely lasted two weeks.

A cellist, Mrs. Doyle was horrified to learn that a previous worker at the factory had badly injured her hands working at the machines. She found safer employment at a soda fountain and bookshop in Ann Arbor, where she wooed a young dental school student and later became his wife.

That's from this wonderful obituary of Geraldine Doyle.

By Ezra Klein  | December 31, 2010; 1:15 PM ET
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You liberals are such downers...Rosie is symbolic of the women who did work tirelessly in the war...

Also, the Constitution is written so that the ordinary citizen could understand it. Maybe you might pick it up and actually read it and then you might understand!

Palin 2012

Posted by: joshrocks | December 31, 2010 3:10 PM | Report abuse

Thank goodness that this poster was written within the last 100 years; otherwise, we couldn't understand it.

Posted by: VirginiaPerson | December 31, 2010 3:19 PM | Report abuse

Moron of the Year

Goes to Ezra Klein

.....for his comments about the Constitution.


Posted by: RainForestRising | December 31, 2010 3:27 PM | Report abuse

It's obvious that the previous commentors don't understand a post that was written a few hours ago. Too many comments on Ezra's other post to get noticed tro- er guys? I think this is an interesting bit of information.

Posted by: IGarza | December 31, 2010 3:48 PM | Report abuse

All of the ranting aside, I think that this is an interesting side note on an iconic image. The Rosie poster is about as iconic as the photo of the kiss in Times Square. So many of the WWII era images have become legendary in advertising and design, but we forget that there were real people behind them. An obituary is a sad way to learn a bit of this woman's story, but wonderful that she is still remembered.


Posted by: envisionary | December 31, 2010 4:40 PM | Report abuse

What's the matter, trolls? Run out of Journolist taunts? Klein was pointing out the obvious--many issues that come up were not even issues, or possibilities when the Constitution was written, and it's only possible to know for sure what the writers of the Constitution thought about them if you have a strong imagination and perfect certitude that you can channel an 18th century person's opinions on the internet and other topics.

Posted by: ciocia1 | December 31, 2010 5:05 PM | Report abuse

Wikipedia's entry for Rosie the Riveter seems to cast the Washington Post's rendition of things into doubt: "It was only later, around the 1970s and 1980s, that the Miller poster was rediscovered and became famous as 'Rosie The Riveter.'"

I'd say that Klein's "not a huge fan of riveting" is more evidence of the pop culture (of which Klein is wholly a product) that misrepresents historical artifacts and can't fathom documents written more than one hundred years ago, ie., it's what one gets when one reads Klein and The WaPo.

Posted by: msoja | December 31, 2010 7:53 PM | Report abuse

According to Ezra, in 32 more years, we will not be able to understand this poster.


What about the 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments, do you understand those???

I realize that the liberals do not understand the 2nd & 10th Amendments and the Interstate Commerce Clause - you've got that much right.


Posted by: RainForestRising | December 31, 2010 8:54 PM | Report abuse


Obama did have a horrible year

It is correct, Obama started with a filibuster-proof majorities and ended with nothing but a terrible bill which is not working and which the nation is determined to de-fund.

Amazingly, most of the damage has been self-inflicted, caused directly by his arrogance

It is incredible how many mistakes Obama has made.

Obama has become the poster child for the "incompetent affirmative action guy" who is so stupid, he has to go.

What is worse, the guy doesn't appear to realize he can't handle the job.

Or perhaps Obama knows he can't handle it.

Anyway, Obama is too stupid to realize that he is hurting the economy and jobs - and he really doesn't care about the economy when he starts thinking about how he will get his agenda imposed on the proletariat.

The government has been hijacked and is clearly being run against the will of the people, for the first time in American history, pretty much unprecedented.

Amazing that the kindness of affirmative action has produced such arrogance which is causing so much damage to the economy and to the nation.

Now that Obama's mistakes have resulted in an election which limits the further damage Obama can do, the next task is for the country to take back the goverment.


Posted by: RainForestRising | December 31, 2010 8:57 PM | Report abuse

The liberals spend BILLIONS of dollars and things are no better.

Who could have guessed this would have happened???

Obama said premiums would go down. They went up 20%

Who could have guessed this would have happened???

Obama spent Billions. Things got worse

Who could have guessed this would have happened???

Obamas stimulus 800 Billion, few jobs

Who could have guessed this would have happened???

The liberals still wont face reality

Who could have guessed this would have happened???

Obama was supposed to be smart Turns out Obama is stupid, push ahead by affirmative action program after affirmative action program.

Who could have guessed????

What a social experiment

Take an idiot off the street and try to prove he could do the same as an old WHITE MAN.

What a stupid thing to try

Who could have guessed it wouldnt work???

Posted by: RainForestRising | January 1, 2011 1:56 AM | Report abuse

whats the constitution?

Posted by: 12thgenamerican | January 1, 2011 7:51 AM | Report abuse

Ezra, Just saw your interview on MSNBC about the Constitution.
What a joke! Please don't quit your day job.
Should we adopt a new constitution every 100 years? 20 years? 2years?
With your superior intellect, there would be total anarchy if you were running the asylum. Please brush up on the definition of the "Rule of Law" as well as the roles of the three branches of government (Executive, Congressional, Judicial). Maybe then you'll understand why the MAJORITY of people don't want to be nannied by you self-proclaimed deep thinker types.
What an Idiot.

Posted by: Rogthedodge | January 1, 2011 3:15 PM | Report abuse

After making such idiotic comments about the Constitution, Klein can have no credibility, whatsoever. A normal 5th grader can read and understand the straight-forward language of the Constitution. Why is Klein unable to do this? Because he never read the Constitution? Perhaps.

Posted by: ecartr5 | January 1, 2011 4:25 PM | Report abuse

This is not a picture of Rosie the Riveter.

THIS is Rosie the Riveter.

Posted by: Bloix | January 1, 2011 8:08 PM | Report abuse

PS- Ezra, you're going to have to start moderating your comments threads. Eight off-topic comments that do nothing but slag you. These guys are here to shout the rest of us down. And it works - if you let them, they will drive those of us who are actually interested in what you have to say off your comments threads. It's happened to Yglesias, whose comments threads a toxic waste dump, and it will happen to you if you don't moderate the threads.

Posted by: Bloix | January 1, 2011 8:13 PM | Report abuse

The real women behind the Rosie legend (nice head-scarf action - yeah)


Posted by: donturismo | January 2, 2011 8:48 AM | Report abuse

I wonder how the real Rosie, or any one of her compatriots, would feel about your comments on the age and applicability of the Constitution?

Posted by: Apostrophe | January 2, 2011 9:43 AM | Report abuse

Ezra, here is my rant, for what it is worth in a stream of consciousness:

My lineage is also Marx. In fact, Karl was a cousin to my great grandmother, not that this is any big deal to me, I am NOT A "Marxist" and never have been.

And, I do not believe in what gets done to great writers, since my brother was killed for writing in no less than 28 languages, telling about the CIA.

Anyway, once they are "dead." Anything goes with those who paid for the works to be written - just so it can be for the same old cannibals of hell in earth, A BIBLICAL CONSTITUTION?

I think that is way too old, way older than the U.S. Constitution.

U.S. CONSTITUTION is the only GD piece of paper saving my self from complete destruction in the good ole U.S. of A.

I was arrested in the town of Portland, Oregon, on September 22, 2007, because the City is a NAZI HAVEN, and this has been well documented as A FACT.


The COURTS! Oh, yea, how about me writing the Washington Post my story with full fine art cartoon (beyond Goya and Rembrandt's "fine art cartoons"), stories of the DEPOSITIONS, Ronald Frashour (Nazi??, was in full militant "Top Off," with Kruger, et al - George W. Bush!!)

Now, do you as a JEW REALLY want the Nazi party who is the Zionists' ways and means to sell also, down the river, the Jews! Ask Gilad Atzmon who argued at Oxford to expose the entirety of how, the U.S. CONSTITUTION is being used as toilet paper for THEM, the European Zionists!! Ask Helen Thomas, too.

Or alternatively, Robert Seavers and I can write stories (he an INSIDER) AND ME - well NAMES are interesting: Chief Judge "Aiken," Senior Judge "King," "Acosta," and "Michael Wise Mosman." Zionists? Who can tell when they own the court and do whatever it is to the U.S. Constitution other than, the RULE OF LAW.

CORNERSTONES [3], The Rule of Law --- Right to Notice, Be Noticed; Right to Argue; Probable Cause; Due Process; SORTITION, by the people, SELECT THE JURY TRIAL.

What do we get?


Yes, it is post Constitution and indeed, not pre-magna Carta, which the Biblical cannibals still worship, SEE RACHEL CORRIE'S DREAM, and get yourself awake, now, Ezra, we need your voice of sound reason and not insanity against the finest good law, taking us far beyond this continued 1500 mentality of Zionist cannibals. Thank you and the Washington Post for enlightenment vs. dark ages, Roberta Kelly

Posted by: RobertaKelly | January 2, 2011 12:50 PM | Report abuse

I almost forgot: I am the Rosie of the Twenty-first Century, since I am offering for NO "money" to be the resident artist for the Washington Post and take the U.S. Constitution as well as an original alphabet by Donald P. Wilson, and BRING America back to the future, in the real arts, not the unrefined stuff called it.

Posted by: RobertaKelly | January 2, 2011 12:57 PM | Report abuse

There are more than a dozen women who have claim to being the "real" rosie. This woman is just one of them.

Posted by: newagent99 | January 3, 2011 8:53 AM | Report abuse

Thanks for writing this Ezra. It will make for an interesting tid bit in my history class.


Posted by: pparris | January 3, 2011 10:36 AM | Report abuse

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