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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 ...
Lest Liberty Perish from the Face of the Earth - Buy Bonds
In 1917 the United States entered the Great War, as World War I was known at the time. A national propaganda campaign was started to convince Americans to support the war effort. Some of the images used in this campaign have become a permanent part of American cultural iconography, notably J.M. Flagg’s famed 1917 poster of Uncle Sam declaring, “I want YOU.” In addition to recruiting troops to fight, the U.S. government issued “Liberty Bonds” to help finance the war effort. Artists helped the cause by making ...
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 ...
He Is Piling up His Thrift Stamps, Are You? Buy Thrift Stamps
This World War I poster, produced in Canada in 1918, promotes Thrift Stamps, a form of wartime savings directed especially at children. The poster, by an unknown artist, shows a squirrel hiding nuts in a tree. The caption reads, “He is piling up his Thrift Stamps, are you?” Canada, a dominion within the British Empire, was a major combatant on the Allied side during World War I. To raise money for the war, countries sold interest-bearing war bonds. Canada began calling its war bonds “Victory Bonds” (or “Victory Loans”) in ...
Joan of Arc Saved France. Women of America, Save Your Country--Buy War Savings Stamps
This World War I poster, issued by the United States Department of the Treasury, urges women to buy war savings stamps to help finance the war effort. The War Savings Stamps (W.S.S.) program aimed to instill patriotism in citizens as well as raise funds. Stamps were available in 10-cent and 25-cent versions, and were bought by school-age children and other small savers. This poster invokes the figure of Joan of Arc (circa 1412–31), the traditionally recognized patriot and martyr of France who led the fight against the ...
Lend the Way They Fight. Buy Bonds to Your Utmost
This World War I poster, showing an American infantryman hurling a hand grenade at German soldiers in a trench, invokes the image of Americans in combat on the Western front in France to urge citizens at home to purchase bonds to finance the war. The United States government issued bonds, also called Liberty Bonds, in 1917 and 1918, raising a total of $21.5 billion for the war effort. Many of the bonds were bought by banks and financial institutions as investments, but a massive public relations campaign was mounted ...
We'll Get Them! The 2nd National Defense Loan. Subscribe
This World War I poster, published in Paris in 1916, shows a French soldier with a gun in one hand, and the other hand raised, urging on his comrades. The text calls upon French citizens to subscribe to the second national defense loan, one of four issued by the French government during the course of the war. This is one of the best-remembered French posters of the many hundreds produced during the war, and was created by Abel Faivre (1867–1945), a well-known illustrator and cartoonist. In a career that ...
For the Freedom of the World. Subscribe to the National Loan at the Banque Nationale de Crédit
This World War I poster issued by the French Banque Nationale de Crédit urges French citizens to purchase war bonds, “for the freedom of the world.” An image of the Statue of Liberty appears on the horizon, an allusion to the entry into the war of the United States on April 6, 1917. The participation of the United States gave a lift to the people of France, who by this time had suffered huge casualties in battles with Germany and had expended much of the nation’s wealth to fight ...
For Your Country. Subscribe to the Loan. Crédit Foncier d'Algérie et de Tunisie
This World War I poster, sponsored by the Crédit Foncier d'Algérie et de Tunisie, a financial institution serving Algeria and Tunisia, urges people to subscribe to the fourth national loan, issued by the French government in 1918. The poster shows Algerian and Tunisian soldiers on horses charging into battle. France recruited troops from its overseas territories and colonies, and between 1914 and 1918, the French army deployed 172,800 soldiers from Algeria and 60,000 soldiers from Tunisia to Europe. Initially, most colonial troops were volunteers, but as the ...