In France, Two Popular Trades Taught Disabled Soldiers Are Cabinet-Making and Tailoring


This poster, produced in 1919, shortly after the end of World War I, is from an exhibit of the U.S. Red Cross Institute for Crippled and Disabled Men and the Red Cross Institute for the Blind. The poster shows two scenes in which disabled soldiers in France are being taught useful skills to enable them to find employment after discharge from military service: "Disabled Serbians working in the carpentry shop at Lyons, France," and "A tailoring class in Paris taught by a one-legged instructor." The United States suffered more than 320,000 casualties in World War I: more than 117,000 deaths and 204,000 wounded. After the war, the Red Cross, along with other private organizations, assisted disabled veterans by providing occupational therapy, by teaching new skills, and by providing assistance to dependent families of hospitalized veterans. This poster reflects a readiness to learn from France, which in four years of conflict suffered more than 3.8 million casualties (killed, wounded, and taken prisoner), of which some 2 million were wounded.

Last updated: July 8, 2014