Bronze Statue of Rosie the Riveter
Wood-Ridge, New Jersey
During World War 2, American women went to work in droves, ramping up wartime manufacturing and filling the void left by men fighting in two hemispheres. "Rosie the Riveter" posters of a brawny lady welder were part of the worker recruitment and morale-building campaign; ultimately over six million women were employed, many in construction positions.
In Wood-Ridge, a huge Curtiss-Wright Aeronautical plant built aircraft engines from 1942 and throughout the war years.
The 138-acre facility still lingers in all its abandoned splendor, but parts are being redeveloped. Wesmont rail station was opened in June 2012, and that's where a lifesize statue of "Rosie the Riveter" was unveiled. Artist John Giannotti (GiannottiStudios.com) sculpted a color bronze rendition of Rosie wearing a polka-dot bandana and wielding an industrial rivet gun. Her bronze lunch pail and coke bottle sit on a granite block with text about and photos of female war industry contributions.
Compared to 1940s poster-Rosie, she's a bit more delicate, with ambiguous age and ethnicity, but still a formidable war machine.
John Giannotti told us: "She stands 6'2" with some pretty powerful shoulders and arms. As I sculpted her I thought of her as being someone I'd like to ask out on a date but not challenge to an arm wrestling match."