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Catalog Number 1988.58.7
Object Name Poster
Accession number 1988.58
Other number AM-E6-3
Description Country of Origin: United States
Title: Gee! I Wish I Were a Man
Artist: Howard Chandler Christy, signed and dated
Date: n.d.
Size: 27 x 40 15/16 inches (68.5 x 103.8 cm)
Issuing Agency: Navy Recruiting Bureau
Medium: Lithograph

American Poster - Enlistment, Navy

Inscription: Gee! / I Wish I Were / A Man / I'd Join / The Navy / Naval Reserve / Coast Guard

Additional information regarding poster model can be found at :

"Vaught tells the story of World War I "poster girl" Bernice Smith Tongate.

"Bernice Smith was a young girl of 20 when she announced to Navy recruiters, 'Gee! I wish I were a man, I'd join the Navy,'" Vaught said. Artist Howard Chandler Christy overheard Smith, modeled her in sailor blues and used her exclamation as his poster tag line, Vaught said. Ten days after posing, Smith enlisted as a Navy yeoman for three years and made the rank of chief yeoman.

"She was the first woman in California to enlist," Vaught said. "When the Navy said she was too old to enlist in World War II, she joined the Army.""
Date n.d.
People Smith Tongate, Bernice
Subjects World War I
Recruiting & enlistment
Search Terms U.S. Naval Reserve Force
U.S. Coast Guard