I am currently working on an independent study with my English professor on a project regarding women during Fascism in Italy. I was discussing with him how many of the Italian women started working during Fascism to take the place of the men who were at war. We talked about what the situation in the United States was for women at the time, and it became obvious to talk about Rosie the Riveter.
I went online and looked for Rosie the Riveter and I found this drawing by Norman Rockwell.
This is the very famous cover of the May 29th 1943 issue of The Saturday Evening Post.
It is a little different from the classic Rosie the Riveter image we are used to seeing, which is called We can do it!
and is by J. Howard Miller.
I like the version by Norman Rockwell because is seems much more natural than the other, where Rosie looks like she is posing.
I love the fact that Rosie is eating in Rockwell’s version. It makes the viewer imagine what her daily life was like: hard work and a short lunch break, which allowed only the time for a quick ham sandwich.
I love her facial expression, she looks so strong and powerful. She is eating that deserved sandwich with such pride, after a long hard working day. She looks finally satisfied and relaxed.
It looks like she is about to get back to work any minute; she still has the rivet gun on her knees and she is eating quickly, therefore is holding the sandwich only with one hand.
I was able to find the story
behind Rosie the Riveter
by Norman Rockwell. The woman who posed as Rosie, said that she was really eating a ham sandwich while posing for Rockwell. I loved reading this story, because I love to know what’s behind the making of an artwork.
For working women like Rosie, a ham sandwich was probably the fastest, cheapest and easiest lunch to make and carry to work.
This is an interesting page
which illustrates the timeline of sandwiches. It seems like the first sandwich was created by the cook of John Montagu in 1762. John Montagu was an english man who gambled. During a 24 hour game, he wanted something quick that wasn’t messy to eat while he was playing. His cook prepared him a slice of meat between two pieces of bread, and there it was: the sandwich. You can read more about sandwiches and their history and origins on the link that I previously mentioned.
Since ham sandwiches are quite easy to make, here is a French version of a ham sandwich: the Croque Monsieur. I had an obsession over this sandwich a couple of years ago, I used to cook it for my mother for dinner sometime.