This World War I poster, published in London in 1917, consists entirely of text, with a list of activities that British citizens were asked by the government to avoid in order to conserve scarce resources for the war effort. The text reads: “1. Don't use a motor car or motor cycle for pleasure purposes. 2. Don't buy new clothes needlessly. Don't be ashamed of wearing old clothes in war time. 3. Don't keep more servants than you really need. In this way you will save money for the war, set the right example, and free labour for more useful purposes. Your country will appreciate your help.” By 1917, British industrial production was down 10 percent from prewar levels, and much of what was produced was sent to the armies in the field, leaving far less for domestic consumption. Britain also suffered severe labor shortages, as many skilled workers volunteered for or were conscripted into the armed forces.

Last updated: October 25, 2013