Painting of Rosie, a Riveter, Starts Tempest in Teapot
Beneath one moccasined foot is a smudged copy of “Mein Kampf”, pagan bible of the Hitler regime. Across her bosom is a row of buttons, including a service button, a red cross emblem, a “V” button, a “E” insignia, and a few others.
From the pocket of her soiled blue dungarees protrudes a lace-edged handkerchief, and a gold trimmed white compact, in pleasing contrast to the double—buckle leather wrist strap.
Lettered in white paint across the top of her lunch box is the name “ROSIE”, and thereby hangs a tale.
News dealers from coast to coast, including Evans of Main street, received “blow-ups” of the Rockwell cover last week. A “blowup” is an enlargement in colors of a cover picture. It is tacked up to tip off news stand customers of what to expect in the coming Post issue. But this one had a title over it, to wit: “Rosie the Riveter.”
This, it is said, is the name of a new and popular war song. The name “Rosie” on the lunch box isn’t copy-righted, but presumably the title of the song is.
A couple of days ago Evans and a hundred thousand other news dealers received urgent instructions from the Curtis Publishing Co. to ditch the “blow-up”, and to sign a solemn statement certifying that they had done so, presumably to indicate the good faith of the company and adduce proof that there had been no intention on their part to plaglarize. The Curtis Co. is too smart for that, too long established and certainly knows better, but someone in their promotion department, it is to be supposed, didn’t know about “Rosie.”
Norman Rockwell, when interviewed by The Banner this noon said that “this is the first I’ve heard of it.” Of course he had nothing to do with the promotion anyway, and the use of the word Rosie was quite safe.
She’s Really Beautiful
“It’s Miss Doyle, our telephone operator, who should sue me,” laughed Rockwell, or at least grinned, judging from the sound of his voice over the telephone. “She is really a beautiful girl, but since I wanted to portray a girl of husky proportions, I had to distort the picture.
“I made a mistake in detail that people will be calling me down for,” he concluded. “The cover shows ‘Rosie’ with goggles and an isinglass protective shield. I don’t think riveters use both. It was silly of me.”
The reporter hadn’t noticed that slip, but a few thousand riveters who read the Post regularly undoubtedly will.