Olga moves into state Military Museum – New York News

The image of Olga Gorgen has a new place in Saratoga Springs.


On Tuesday, the poster board re-creation of a young woman in her early 20s moved into a corner of the New York State Military Museum and Veterans Research Center on Lake Avenue. Her visitors will include people interested the stories and people of World War II.

At 8 feet tall, Olga towers over all. She wears a simple dress — complete with a General Electric badge near her shoulder — and holds a soldering tool in her right hand. 

The cut-out was designed to inspire the General Electric Co. workforce during the early 1940s. The Olga figure was part of a six-piece display and once stood on a GE work floor.

The Gorgen family, who said the poster figure appeared at family reunions for decades, has decided to donate the black-and-white image to the museum. They said the GE promotion of another era comes with a famous family story.

“It was a big presentation at the time,” said Richard Gorgen of Charlton, one of four siblings who attended Tuesday’s brief ceremony at the museum. “The story is my father and the other suits were looking for good-looking women to put in the pictures. The family story is that’s how they met and then they dated after that and got married after the war when my father came back from the Navy.”

Francis Gorgen was a GE accountant. Olga Wojnar was a graduate of Wilbur H. Lynch High School in Amsterdam who had been named Miss Polish America in a contest held in Buffalo. Olga often had work at home after her shifts at GE ended; father Sam Wojnar owned Amsterdam’s Belmont Bakery.

Francis Gorgen died in September…

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