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Special Home > Guide to U.S. World War II Posters, 1939-1947

Guide to U.S. World War II Posters, 1939-1947

Collection number: VC 40

Size:
(61 items)

(1.00 cu.ft.)

About the U.S. World War II Posters

“The function of the war poster is to make coherent and acceptable a basically
incoherent and irrational ordeal of killing, suffering, and destruction that
violates every accepted principle of morality and decent living,” comments O.W.
Riegel in the introduction to Posters of World War I and World War II in the
George C. Marshall Research Foundation
(1979)
. To achieve
this requires propaganda methods, and war posters of all countries and times thus
bear a remarkable similarity. Every nation portrays its warriors as noble, its women
as compassionate and virtuous, and its war aims as righteous. The enemy, on the
other hand, is portrayed as misguided, evil, and fighting for an ignoble cause.

World War I marked the first large-scale use of the poster for political purposes and
saw a democratized art employed in a new kind of “democratized” war, that is, a war
that involved entire populations. World War II posters were generally less fervent,
emotional, and compelling than those of World War I. One of the reasons was a new
sophistication regarding the poster and propaganda in general engendered by postwar
disillusionment and the exposure of the frauds of atrocity propaganda. It was felt
that propaganda was most effective when it was least propagandistic. Another reason
was the appearance by World War II of a number of other new propaganda weapons and
strategies. Radio, film, newspapers, public loudspeakers, airborne leaflets and
newspapers all combined to subordinate and reduce the importance of the poster.

Posters were important, however, as simple announcements or publicity – for such
things as appeals for production, the conservation of fats, the availability of war
bonds for purchase, and exhortations to stop careless talk. They also created a
sense of involvement in a national mission by providing constant reminders through
one image or another that “this is my war, and I am a part of it.”

The collection consists of a total of 61 posters, 57 of which date from World War II.
Two posters, undated, were produced by the New York State W.P.A. Art Project,
probably from the 1930s, and two posters date from after the end of the war and were
produced by the United Nations Department of Public Information to support their
cause. The collection includes six posters designed by Walt Disney and four by
Norman Rockwell.


Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

This collection is open.

Copyright Notice

Contents of this collection are governed by U.S. copyright law. For questions
about publication or reproduction rights, contact Special Collections staff.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], U.S. World War II Posters, 1939-1947, VC 40, Milne
Special Collections and Archives, University of New Hampshire Library, Durham,
NH, USA.

Acquisitions Information

Donation: Virginia Fitzgerald, Framingham, MA, June 27, 1995 (Accession number: 95.022)


Collection Contents


Series I: New York State W.P.A. Project

Strengthen Good Neighbor Policy –
Understand Our Southern Neighbors. Your Lot in a Totalitarian
State


Series II: Office of Education

The Four Freedoms
(1941-O-406668)


Series III: Office of Price Administration

Cost of Living. “I Pay No More Than
Ceiling Prices…I Pay My Ration Points In Full”

(1944-0-580381)


Series IV: Office of War Information

…Because Somebody Talked
(1944-O-579038). Signed and dated in the plate lower right
We Caught Hell! – Someone Must Have
Talked
(1944-O-567525). Signed indistinctly lower
right
We’ll Take Care Of The Rising Sun. You
Take Care Of Rising Prices
n.d.
I’m Out To Lick Runaway Prices. Let’s All
Follow The 7-Key Plan To Hold Prices Down
n.d. Signed in the
plate “James Montgomery Flagg” lower right
You Can Lick Runaway Prices. You Hold The
7 Keys To Hold Down Prices
n.d. Artist: James Montgomery
Flagg
Careless Talk…Got There First
Artist: Herbert Morton Stoops. (1944-0-593271)
Americans Suffer When Careless Talk
Kills!
Artist: Harry Anderson. (1943-0-558552). Signed in
the plate “Harry Anderson” lower right


Series V: Norman Rockwell Designs

Save Freedom of Worship: Buy War
Bonds
OWI Poster No. 43 (1943-0-510256)
Save Freedom of Speech: Buy War
Bonds
OWI Poster No. 44 (1943-0-510257)
Ours…to fight for: Freedom From
Want
OWI Poster No. 45 (1943-O-511886)
Ours…to fight for: Freedom From
Fear
OWI Poster No. 46 (1943-O-511887)


Series VI: Solid Fuels Administration

Your Government Warns Prepare For Winter
Now! Fuel Is Scarce… Conserve It!

(1944-0-594484)
Up Your Bond Paying Through Payroll
Savings. An Official War Message
(1943-0-539069)


Series VII: The Timken Roller Bearing Company, Canton 6, Ohio

Admiral King Needs Your Help – Buy War
Bonds!
Artist: McClelland Barclay. n.d.
Admiral Stark Says Every Branch Of The
Service Needs Your Help – Buy Another War Bond Today!

Copyright 1944
Admiral Halsey Needs Your Support–Buy War
Bonds!
Artist: John Falter USNR. n.d.
Admiral Horne Says: Buy War Bonds – And
Keep Them!
Copyright 1945
Admiral Nimitz Is Banking On You – Buy War
Bonds!
Artist: Dean Cornwell. Copyright 1944
Cost of Living. “I Pay No More Than
Ceiling Prices…I Pay My Ration Points In Full”

(1944-0-580381)
General Chennault Asks Your Support – Buy
Another War Bond Today!
Copyright 1944
Admiral Kirk Urges You To Buy More War
Bonds!
Copyright: 1944
General Patton Says: Buy More
Bonds!
Copyright 1944
Help General Patch Do The Job – Buy War
Bonds!
Copyright 1945
General Arnold Needs Your Support – Buy
War Bonds!
Copyright 1945. Artist: Ray Prohaska
Stand By General Marshall! Artist:
McClelland Barclay. Copyright 1943
Don’t Let General MacArthur Down – Buy War
Bonds!
Copyright 1943
Support General Eisenhower – Buy War
Bonds!
Copyright 1944
An Appeal From General Vandegrift – Buy
War Bonds!
Copyright 1944
A Vital Message From General Stilwell! Buy
More War Bonds Today!
Copyright 1944


Series VIII: Treasury Department

…Let’s Get This Shield Up! Buy Extra War
Bonds Today. We Bought Extra War Bonds 4th War Loan

(1943-O-563251)
Buying A Bond Is No Sacrifice. Missing in
Action… We Bought Extra War Bonds 4th War Loan

(1943-O-563538). Signed in the plate “Bingham” center right
Now…All Together. 7th War Loan
Artist: C.C. Beall. Painted from Associated Press Photo of U.S. Marines
at Iwo Jima. (1945-0-637980)
Protect His Future. Buy And Keep War
Bonds
Artist: Ruth Nichols. (1944-0-626443)
To Have And To Hold! War Bonds
(1944-0-576074). [2 copies]
CARE Is Costly. Buy And Hold War
Bonds
Artist: Adolph Treidler. (1945-0-651671)
Back ‘Em Up. Buy Extra Bonds
(1944-0-591998). Artist: Boris Chaliapin. [2 copies]
Victory Loan. Buy Your Extra Bonds –
Here
(1945-0- 665000)
Let ‘Em Have It. Buy Extra War Bonds. We
Bought Extra War Bonds 4th War Loan

(1943-0-563183)
Buy Your Extra 6th War Loan Bonds
Here
(1944-0-610771)
The Sky’s The Limit. Keep Buying War
Bonds. 6th War Loan
Artist: Courtney Allen.
(1944-0-609249)
Next! Japan. 6th War Loan Artist:
Bingham. (1944-0- 610930) [2 copies]
Calling All Americans. Your Help Is Needed
In The Fifth War Loan
Printed by Frederick Photogelatine
Press, Inc
Cost of Living. “I Pay No More Than
Ceiling Prices…I Pay My Ration Points In Full”

(1944-0-580381)
Victory – Now You Can Invest In It!
Victory Loan
(1945- 0-666315). [2 copies]
Buy That Invasion Bond! Artist: R.
Moore. (1944-0-597798)
85 Million Americans Hold War
Bonds
(1945-0-629877)


Series IX: United Nations

United Nations U.N. Department of
Public Information, 1947. Artist: Eveleigh. [2 copies]
Vigil For Peace: U.N. Observers
U.N. Department of Public Information, n.d.


Series X: U.S. Army

Wings Over America. Air Corps U.S.
Army
Artist: Tom B. Woodburn. Copyright 1939
The United States Army.
Then-Now-Forever
Artist: Tom B. Woodburn. Copyright
1940


Series XI: U.S. Army, Recruiting Publicity Bureau, Women’s Army
Corps

Both bear this text: Woman’s Place in War. The Army of
the United States has 239 kinds of jobs for women. The Women’s Army
Corps
. [Recruiting Office address "832 Elm St., Manchester,
N.H." written in ink at bottom].

Topographic Draftsman, ARMY GROUND
FORCES
Artist: Ramus. (PC-86-RPB-1-22-44-50M)
Radio Repairing, ARMY SERVICE
FORCES
Artist: Ramus. (PC-87-RPB-1-22-44-50M)


Series XII: Walt Disney Designs

Each poster carries the text: “One of Many Official/Army Navy Insignia/
Designed by Walt Disney.” All signed in the plate ” © Walt Disney.”

Mosquito Fleet. American Motor Torpedo
Boats. Buy U.S. War Bonds And Stamps
45th Pursuit Squadron. Buy U.S. War Bonds
And Stamps
69th Quartermaster Battalion. (LM) Company
C. Buy U.S. War Bonds And Stamps
Truck Drivers Battery “B” 202nd Coastal
Artillery (AA). Buy U.S. War Bonds And Stamps
Women’s Ambulance & Defense Corps. Buy
U.S. War Bonds And Stamps
Alaska Defense Force. Buy U.S. War Bonds
And Stamps


Series XIII: Unidentified

Win-Or Else! Let’s Show Them
n.d.

3 Responses to “Guide to U.S. World War II Posters, 1939-1947”

  1. Adrienne Saint-Pierre Says:

    Having your collection online has been very helpful to me as I have been trying to identify the artists of the World War II posters in the Fairfield Museum and History Center’s collection (Fairfield, Conn.) It is often very difficult to decipher the artists’ signatures on the posters, and since there were thousands of artists involved in producing images for war posters, this is a bit like trying to find a needle in a haystack. I did find a poster in your collection that is identical to one in ours for which you had determined the artist’s name (whereas I had been stumped!). So thank you for that information.

  2. robert Jamrose Says:

    Looking for an original print of Buying a bond is no sacrifice. Missing in Action. We bought extra war bonds 4th war loan. Bingham

    Do you have one and approximate $$

  3. Roland Goodbody Says:

    Hello Mr. Jamrose.

    I´m afraid we don´t have an extra copy of the poster for sale. Have you tried this link – http://www.library.northwestern.edu/govinfo/collections/wwii-posters/collectors.html – which lists poster dealers and has some advice on obtaining World War Two material?

    Roland Goodbody
    Manuscripts Curator