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Copy of Hoondee in Payment of Moorcroft’s Ransom
This photograph of a hondee, or hundi, is from an album of rare historical photographs depicting people and places associated with the Second Anglo-Afghan War. A hundi is a Hindi word for a negotiable financial instrument, such as a bill of exchange or promissory note, by which the signer authorized the recipient to pay a specified sum of money to a third party. This document, in English and Persian, was a ransom payment for 11,000 rupees, signed by the English explorer William Moorcroft (1767–1825) on December 20, 1824 ...
7th War Loan. Now--All Together
C.C. Beall (1892-1967) was a commercial illustrator who drew comics and book covers. He based the image on this World War II war loan poster on the famous Joe Rosenthal photograph of the second American flag to be raised on Iwo Jima. The photo made a huge impact after being published as part of news reports on the battle. This poster was part of the campaign for a 7th War Loan subscription, which took place in May 1945, just days after victory in Europe. Officials were concerned that the ...
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 ...
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 ...
3,000,000 Belgians are Destitute in Belgium. They Must Not Starve. Support the Local Fund
This poster, designed by British illustrator John Hassall (1868–1948) and issued in 1915 for the National Committee for Relief in Belgium (London), depicts a personified image of Britannia offering solace to a mother and her children. The text calls attention to three million destitute Belgians and urges British citizens to contribute to their relief. In the early weeks of World War I, the German military marched through Belgium on its way into France. Germany soon occupied most of Belgium, a densely populated country that relied on imports for most ...
Appeal to Women. Make Every Penny Do the Work of Two. Put Your Savings in the War Loan
During World War I, the British government relied heavily on loans to finance the cost of the war. The Treasury issued its first war loan in November 1914 at an interest rate of 3.5 percent, followed by a second loan in June 1915 at 4.5 percent. Citizens were exhorted to forgo consumption and put their savings into the loans. This 1915 poster, showing ribbons linking Wedgewood-style plaques that depict soldiers and military scenes, appears aimed at affluent women with savings to spare. The poster was issued by the ...
Weapons for Death -- Weapons for Life! Subscribe to the Victory Loan
This World War I poster from Italy shows two young men working at a forge, making a plow. The caption calls on Italians to subscribe to the victory loan. Like most belligerents in World War I, Italy had to raise funds by issuing war bonds, which were essentially interest-bearing loans that citizens made to the government. Campaigns supported by posters such as this had two purposes. One was to urge citizens to lend money to the government to finance the war. The other was to promote patriotic fervor in support ...
Back Them Up. Invest in the War Loan
This 1915 poster issued in London by the Parliamentary War Savings Committee shows a well-dressed, prosperous man reaching into his pocket as he watches soldiers and artillery pass by in the background. The caption reads: "My duty." During World War I, the British government relied heavily on loans to finance the cost of the war. The Treasury issued its first war loan in November 1914 at an interest rate of 3.5 percent, followed by a second loan in June 1915 at 4.5 percent. The Parliamentary War Savings Committee ...
Compagnie Algérienne. Subscribe. Liberation Loan
This poster from 1918, the last year of World War I, advertises the “Liberation Loan” issued by the French government. Parts of France had been occupied by Germany since 1914, and by 1918, the exhausted French people were hoping for victory and the liberation of occupied territory. Algeria was an overseas territory administered as an integral part of France, and this poster was commissioned by an Algerian financial institution, the Compagnie Algérienne, seeking subscribers to the loan. The poster shows an Algerian man, presumably a warrior, on horseback. Around 500 ...
Give Your Money for Victory: Victory Means Peace
This World War I poster urges Italians to contribute their money to the cause of victory, which will bring peace. The poster shows a cannon resting on a pile of coins, pointing upwards toward the mountains. After entering the war on the side of the Allies in May 1915, Italy mainly engaged in fighting the forces of the Central powers (Austria-Hungary and Germany) along its mountainous northeastern frontier with Austria-Hungary. This poster was sponsored by the Banca Italiana di Sconto (Italian Discount Bank), a financial institution that was founded in ...
National Loan 1920 - Compagnie Algérienne
This poster, published in 1920, advertises the 5 percent state loan, known as the “Recovery Loan,” issued by the government of France to finance reconstruction after World War I. Algeria was at this time an overseas territory administered as an integral part of France, and the poster was commissioned by an Algerian financial institution, the Compagnie Algérienne. The poster shows Algerian men with a flock of sheep on a pier, watching a ship, most likely bound for France, being loaded with goods. The illustration is by Henri Villain (1878–1938 ...
National Loan. Société Générale. For the Greatest Effort
This World War I poster, made during the final year of the four-year conflict, shows a French soldier strangling the imperial German eagle. The soldier has a look of fierce determination, even as the eagle bites his hand. The poster calls upon citizens to subscribe to the latest war loan as a way to achieve victory. As in all belligerent countries, France relied heavily on the willingness of citizens to lend money to the government by buying war bonds. France issued four national defense loans during the course of the ...
It is Essential that the Last Blows Achieve Victory! Subscribe to the War Loan!
This World War I poster showing a medieval warrior about to slay a roaring lion was published by the newspaper of the German Tenth Army in 1918. It calls upon Germans to subscribe to the latest German war loan as a way of achieving final victory over the Allies, which included Britain, France, and the United States. The Tenth Army was formed in 1915 from units transferred from the Western front and played a major role in battles on the Eastern front with Russia, which by late 1917 had been ...
Faith in Canada. Use It All for Victory Bonds
This World War I poster, created by an unknown artist, shows a treasure chest and silhouettes of soldiers in the background. It was issued by Canadian authorities to promote the sale of Victory Bonds. As part of the British Empire, the Dominion of Canada was automatically engaged in the conflict and made a major contribution to the British war effort. A Canadian Expeditionary Force was hastily formed in the late summer and early fall of 1914, and on October 3, 1914, the first contingent of 33,000 Canadian soldiers sailed ...
Turn Your Silver into Bullets at the Post Office
During World War I, the British government relied heavily on loans to finance the war effort. The Treasury issued its first war loan in November 1914 at an interest rate of 3.5 percent, followed by a second loan in June 1915 at 4.5 percent. Citizens were exhorted to forgo consumption and put their savings into the loans. This 1915 poster shows a pair of cupped hands overflowing with silver coins; the coins turn into bullets as they fall. In the background, there is a scrip voucher for the ...
Women are Working Day and Night to Win the War
In World War I, all sides used posters as tools to mobilize their populations for the war effort. With men fighting at the front, women played a great role in sustaining industrial production for the war effort and civilian needs, often by working in urban factories located away from their homes. This British poster by an unknown artist shows women working at a lathe in a factory complex with a Young Women's Christian Association structure visible through the window. The YWCA was engaged in housing women workers, and the ...