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It is Nice in the Surf but What about the Men in the Trenches? Go and Help
This 1917 Australian poster is representative of many used to recruit volunteers to serve with the British forces in World War I. Australian recruitment drives were highly successful and resulted in more than 400,000 men enlisting from a population of fewer than five million. Posters such as this one appealed to the Australian value of “mateship” or comradeship, while others appealed to patriotism. In addition to the young man swimming in the surf, the poster features the emblem of the Win the War League, an organization founded in 1917 ...
Australia has Promised Britain 50,000 More Men; Will You Help Us Keep that Promise
In World War I, all sides used posters as tools to mobilize their populations for the war effort. Australia fought on the side of its “mother country,” Great Britain. Australian soldiers suffered heavy casualties in the Gallipoli campaign and in the trenches on the Western front. Casualties led to recruiting drives intended to attract new enlistments. This poster by an unidentified artist appeals to the strong sense of loyalty to Britain felt by the Australian people. It shows a kangaroo in front of number 50,000 and in the background ...
Subscribe to the 8th War Loan
In World War I, all sides used posters as tools to mobilize their populations for the war effort. This poster, published in Vienna in 1918, shows a little girl reaching through a number "8" to deposit a coin into a pile below, an advertisement for the eighth war loan being raised by Austria-Hungary, Germany’s chief ally in the war. The artist who designed the poster was Alfred Offner. Born in Czernowitz in 1879, Offner was a painter and graphic artist who was associated with the Vienna Secession, a group ...
Union Bank, 8th War Loan; Peace Through Victory
In World War I, all sides used posters as tools to mobilize their populations for the war effort. This poster, published in Vienna in 1918, is an advertisement for the eighth war loan being raised by Austria-Hungary, Germany’s chief ally in the war. It shows a young woman offering a bowl of coins at an altar decorated with the Austrian coat of arms. The artist was Thomas Fasche, who created several other World War I posters, but about whom little is known.
National War Relief Exhibition
In World War I, all sides used posters as tools to mobilize their populations for the war effort. This poster, published in Pozsony (present-day Bratislava, Slovakia) in 1917, shows a disabled veteran with a prosthetic arm using a scythe to harvest wheat. The text announces the National War Relief Exhibition in Pozsony. The poster was created by Pal Sujan, a popular artist whose portraits and other paintings were widely shown in the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Sujan was born in Budapest in 1880, studied art, and worked as an art teacher in ...
Now Slovakia Arises. It's Pulling off Its Shackles
This World War I poster showing soldiers and the Slovak coat of arms is one of a series by Czech artist Vojtěch Preissig (1873–1944) urging Czech and Slovak volunteers living in the United States to fight with the Czechoslovak Legion against Germany and Austria-Hungary. The Czech lands and Slovakia were at that time part of Austria-Hungary and leaders of the national independence movement believed that the cause of an independent Czechoslovak state could be furthered by fighting on the Allied side. In December 1917, the government of France approved ...
French-Canadians: Enlist!: Re-form the Salaberry Riflery Regiments
In World War I, all sides used posters as tools to mobilize their populations for the war effort. This recruitment poster from Canada was directed at French-speaking Canadians, with the warning that “England, bulwark of our liberties, is threatened.” The call to re-form the Salaberry rifle regiments refers back to the War of 1812 between Britain and the United States, when Major Charles de Salaberry, a member of a distinguished Quebec family, was given command of a new regiment, recruited from among French Canadians, to defend against a possible American ...
Bushmen and Sawmill Hands Wanted. Join the 224th Canadian Forestry Battalion
In World War I, all sides used posters as tools to mobilize their populations for the war effort. This poster by an unknown artist appeals to men with logging and sawmill experience to join a new military unit being formed in Canada. In 1916, the British government asked the government of Canada to recruit a specialized forestry battalion for service in Britain and France, where forestry skills were in short supply. In a period of six weeks, over 1,600 men were recruited for the unit, which was assigned such ...
Fight for Her. Come with the Irish Canadian Rangers Overseas Battalion, Montreal
In World War I, many Irish immigrants to Canada volunteered to serve in the Canadian armed forces. To assist with recruitment, the Canadian government established a purely Irish battalion, the Irish Canadian Rangers 199th Overseas Battalion. Based in Montreal, the unit began signing up volunteers in the winter of 1915–16. Also known as the Duchess of Connaught's Own Irish Rangers, after their royal patron, wife of Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught and the governor-general of Canada, the rangers sailed for Europe in December 1916, and made a triumphal ...
Deposit Your Gold for France. Gold Fights for Victory
This World War I poster, published in Paris in 1915, urges French citizens to deposit their gold coins “for France,” using the slogan “Gold fights for victory." Gold was needed by the French government to purchase wartime supplies from the United States and other countries, hence the appeal for citizens to transform their gold coins into bank deposits. The focal point of the poster, the gold coin embossed with the emblematic and iconic Gallic rooster (le coq gaulois) shown to be crushing a German soldier, epitomizes this idea. The poster ...
My Dear Home, I Love You, You’re a House for Each of Us and Home for All of Us
This World War I poster, published in 1918, shows a Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) hut set in the woods, with soldiers outside relaxing and playing games. A red and blue YMCA sign is visible over the door. At the bottom of the poster is a quotation, “My dear home, I love you, you’re the house for each of us and home for all of us,” which is attributed to a poilu (French slang for a front-line soldier). The YMCA was founded in 1844 by George Williams, a ...
Let's Take Care of the Poultry. I am a Fine War Hen. I Eat Little and Produce a Lot
This small poster, produced in France in 1918, features a hen sitting atop a pile of eggs beneath the caption, "Let's take care of the poultry," and above the main caption which reads: "I am a fine war hen. I eat little and produce a lot." The aim of the poster was to encourage the French population to conserve food and other scarce goods in order to support the war effort. Unlike many posters, which were produced by professional artists, this work was designed by a 16-year-old student, who ...
Subscribe to the War Loan! The Army and Navy Expect it from You!
In World War I, all sides used posters as tools to mobilize their populations for the war effort. This 1917 poster, created by the influential German designer and graphic artist Lucian Bernhard, appeals to German citizens to help finance the war with their savings. Bernhard was born in 1883, and his original name was Emil Kahn. After studying at the Munich Art Academy, he moved to Berlin where he worked as a commercial artist. He was best known for his innovative advertising posters for German companies. Bernhard emphasized simplicity as ...
Tonhalle: Exhibition of Works by German Prisoners of War Interned in Switzerland
This poster advertises an exhibition of artwork by interned German prisoners of war at the Tonhalle in Zurich, Switzerland, in May–June 1918. The location, times of opening, and the entry fee of 20 pfennigs are indicated. Exhibition proceeds were to benefit a Bavarian organization that assisted prisoners of war. The poster features the image of a German soldier who seems to be lost in thought, seated in front of the symbol for the Red Cross. Under arrangements worked out by the Red Cross in late 1914 and implemented starting ...
Plant Oils! Plant Sunflowers and Poppies, and You Then Create German Oils and Serve the Fatherland!
This World War I poster shows a sign, with a songbird perched on it, in a bed of poppies and sunflowers. The text on the sign encourages the planting of sunflowers and poppies to produce oil and provides the address in Berlin of the War Committee for Oils and Fats, where seeds and instructions for planting can be obtained. Germany suffered severe shortages of food during the war because of the British blockade, which sharply cut imports of food and fertilizers. Efforts were made to increase domestic production to make ...
For the Country, My Eyes. For Peace, Your Money
This World War I poster, published in Turin, shows a blinded Italian soldier with bloodstained bandages wrapped around his eyes. Like most belligerents in World War I, Italy had to raise funds to support its war effort by issuing war bonds, which were essentially interest-bearing loans that citizens made to the government. The appeals to patriotism and to the sacrifices by the soldiers at the front are typical of war bond posters produced in Italy and other countries. This poster was created by artist Alfredo Ortelli and advertises the Consolidated ...
"A Happy New Year to Our Gallant Soldiers!" You Can Make It Certain If You Join Now
This poster created in early 1915, designed and printed by Johnson, Riddle & Company for the Parliamentary Recruiting Committee in the United Kingdom, shows British soldiers marching toward victory in World War I. After Britain declared war on Germany on August 4, 1914, posters such as this were used to encourage men to enlist in the armed forces. The optimistic visual imagery promised victory in the new year, provided enough men joined the fight. In the early months of the conflict, many people in Britain believed that the war would be ...
"The Child at Your Door." 400,000 Orphans Starving, No State Aid Available. Campaign for $30,000,000
The American Committee for Armenian and Syrian Relief was established in 1915 with the cooperation of the United States Department of State, for the purpose of providing humanitarian relief to Armenians forcibly deported from Anatolia to other parts of the Ottoman Empire during World War I. The Ottoman parliament passed a law by which privately collected funds from the United States could be distributed to displaced Armenians via the U.S. Embassy in Constantinople. The committee, which raised millions of dollars at public rallies and churches, issued this poster as ...
"Times Are Hard Your Majesty - You Leave Us Nothing to Do"
This U.S. World War I propaganda poster shows a devil, accompanied by two smaller devils, telling Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany that he was leaving them with no work to do. On the left is shown the home of the devils, a cave with its opening covered with cobwebs, over which hangs a sign, “To Let.” Using a word from the Hebrew Bible identified with Hell, the cave is called the “Gehenna Apartments.” The Kaiser has a bloody sword extending from beneath his cape. Also shown is the Kaiser ...
Kościuszko, Pułaski—They Fought for Liberty in America
This Polish-language poster, produced in Brooklyn, New York, in 1917, shortly after the United States entered World War I, was aimed at the many Polish-speaking immigrants living in the United States at that time. The message— “Kościuszko, Pułaski fought for liberty in America. Can you help America fight for freedom in Poland? Eat less sugar, wheat, meat, fats so that we can support our brothers fighting in the allied armies”—invokes the names of two Poles. Tadeusz Kosciusko and Kazimierz Pulaski fought on the American side in the Revolutionary War ...
1914! The Murderers!
This poster, designed by the graphic artist Maurice Louis Henri Neumont (1868–1930) and produced in Paris in 1914 by Maison d’édition, depicts Kaiser Wilhelm II (1859–1941), emperor of Germany during World War I, and Franz Joseph I (1830–1916), emperor of Austria-Hungary until the third year of the war, as “murderers.” Each carries a knife, and behind them is a looming image of the imperial eagle of Germany, dripping blood. The papers on the ground show the international agreements and principles of international law that the emperors ...