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Show Me, Rosie! hits Shelves this Spring

WWII poster to recruit women stenographers from the U.S. National Archives
WWII poster to recruit women stenographers from the U.S. National Archives

The newest title from Star Route Books, Show Me, Rosie!Missouri’s working women in the Second World War will make its debut in March at the State Conference of the Missouri State Society, Daughters of the American Revolution (MSSDAR).

Many people put a lot of hard work into the project. Individuals from across the state of Missouri interviewed mothers, grandmothers, aunts, and friends about their lives and service during World War II. MSSDAR gathered and edited their stories and photographs and sent it all to Imaging Specialists.

Of course, each individual’s experience was different- the stories are varied. Some women actually were riveters. Some were secretaries. A few married servicemen, others were in the service, themselves. There were wives, widows, divorcees and a few made conscious decisions not to marry until after the end of the war. Working wartime mothers motivated by patriotism or necessity found that they had to secure child care. Day cares and afterschool groups developed and children were left with sitters or grandparents.

Women's Bureau Department of Labor Poster from United States National Archives
Womens Bureau, Department of Labor Poster from U.S. National Archives

Our task was to show the diversity in a cohesive, uniform layout so we designed pages in a scrapbook format, using elements from a 1940s scrapbook as a base. This allowed each woman to share what was most important to her story and memories, as she would have done in her own scrapbook. We present modern and wartime images beside ration coupons, identification badges, insignia pins and other memorabilia.

The cover features the iconic “We Can Do It” poster, painted by Pittsburgh artist  J. Howard Miller for Westinghouse Company’s War Production Coordinating Committee in 1942. The title, Show Me, Rosie! not only refers to the Missouri state motto, but to the way these home front heroes share their wartime stories.

We chose a typewriter font for story text, printed on white “sheets” that looked like they were mounted on typical, gray construction paper backgrounds or onto graph paper backgrounds to give an industrial feel. Captions were printed in a script font used throughout- as if one hand had written it all, but in each submitter’s words.

WWII Rationing Poster from U.S. Library of Congress
WWII Rationing Poster from U.S. Library of Congress

We added photographs and wartime posters from the Library of Congress, the National Archives, private libraries and many other resources (around 30) when appropriate to help illustrate the 78 narratives. We also researched newspaper clippings and images submitted by (or on behalf of) the honorees, securing permission for reprint when possible. Some entrees took 3 or 4 pages, but most were 2 page spreads in this 184 page, 8.5″ x 11″, soft cover book.

The print-on-demand books serve as a fundraiser for the MSSDAR. Sales will help support the Missouri State Society in their many patriotic endeavors.