We Can Do It

Anatomy of Wendy the Welder’s Employment Badge

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Rosie the Riveter and Her Collar PinIt All Started with Rosie the Riveter and Her Collar Pin

Yes, Wendy the Welder’s Employment Badge actually started, at least for us, with Rosie the Riveter and her collar pin. How did that help us with the anatomy of Wendy the Welder’s Employment Badge?

First a Bandana and Then a Collar Pin

Rosie the Riveter Authentic BandanaWhen we first started selling Rosie bandanas, we were thrilled with the results of our research into Rosie the Riveter. We found a way to replicate her red and white polkadots. They weren’t in regular rows and columns. They were random.

Some people speculate the random pattern was based on the bandanas worn by Women Ordnance Workers (WOW). Their bandanas had a random pattern of round white bombs. J. Howard Miller, the artist of the We Can Do It! poster, never talked about his inspiration.

Our Customers Started Asking…

…well actually, they were begging us to create Rosie’s employment badge once they had our Rosie bandana. The badge is the one you see on her collar.

But we weren’t going to do that unless our research would enable us to have an authentic one, with all the right details.

And so our research began. First we looked closely at the collar button in the We Can Do It! poster. Although it was only a sketch, it was enough to lead us to an original ID pin.

Rosie the Riveter Westinghouse Collar PinHow? We went to the government archives and found one of the few known  badges worn by an employee at the Westinghouse Electric Service Company. That’s where J. Howard Miller was when he drew the now famous poster. As you may know, it was only supposed to be posted for two weeks in February 1943 — morale booster for employees. It was about 30 years later that the poster became an icon of the feminist movement.

Final Details to Rosie’s Badge

All that was left was for us to create a detailed design of the original with a black-and-white photo of Rosie in the center. Because details matter, we even removed the employment badge from Rosie’s collar since she wouldn’t have had it on in her employment photo!

It took us almost two years before we were satisfied with the design and the quality of our Rosie Collar Pin…hand enameled and with photo insert.

And How Did That Help Us with the Anatomy of Wendy the Welder’s Employment Badge?

Original Wendy Button and Our Replica

Original employment badge on the left and our reworked replica on the right.

With the experience of developing Rosie’s badge behind us, we knew how to begin our investigation of Wendy’s ID badge. Research is key to all of our products. 

First we looked for the various factories that relied on welders to make the war product. Welders were used in the production of airplanes and ships, among other products. We decided to use a welder’s employment badge of a woman who worked on ships. Then we chose the Richmond Shipbuilding Corporation and found an interesting set of badges — all quite different from the Rosie collar badge.

What’s Different?

The welder’s badges were:

  • Wendy the Welder and her Employment BadgeMuch bigger than the collar pins. The one we choose was about 2 1/4 inches. In contract, the Rosie collar pin was 1 1.4 inches. A big difference.
  • These pins were designed to be worn on the chest, not the collar.
  • The one we chose as our model was set on a dark blue background.
  • And most amazingly to us — it shows a height scale behind the employee.

The Background Height Scale is Authentic

Wendy Welder's Employment BadgeYes, these look a bit like mug shots. But the height scale provided another means of identifying an employee.

We thought maybe we had chosen a rare or unusual employment badge, so we looked at a lot of WW2 employment badges and discovered that the height scale was more typical than we thought. In fact, Rosie the Riveter’s Westinghouse badge was the rarity.

This Wendy ID Badge Is NOT a Collar Pin

What About this Wendy Badge vs. a Rosie Collar Pin?

We reviewed many photos of women working in factories during WW2. We particularly looked for the welders. And what we discovered surprised even us. Wendys wore their badges on their chest. Not the collar. So that is what we have created. 

Hope you find our explanation of the anatomy of Wendy the Welder’s Employment Badge to be as interesting as the research for it was to us.

Want to find more information on items Wendy wore? Click on the item below.

Wendy and her welding goggles

Already Our Customers Are In Love With Wendy

And the reviews are starting to come in. Customers love the new Wendy costume:

• “Cute”

• “Original”

  • “Love It!”

Right now you can enjoy introductory price savings. PLUS, you can use Etsy Discount Code to save an additional 10%: WENDY10.

Matilda ButlerAnatomy of Wendy the Welder’s Employment Badge