WWI Through Posters

 All nations involved in WWI used propaganda posters
for several reasons:
 To justify their involvement to their citizens
 To encourage young men to enlist (often by guilt or fear)
 To appeal to the emotions of their citizens to save food,
money, resources for the war efforts
 Posters from the war show us the link between the war
and their impact on national economies
Who produced this poster?
* Artist Saville Lumley for the
What is the purpose of this
* Recruit for the British Army
What emotions does this
poster elicit?
* Fear, guilt, curiosity
 What emotions does
this 1917 U.S.
government poster use
to encourage men to
enlist in the military?
 The image of the
woman bent over, the
fallen flags and the
ominous background
suggest fear. The image
of Uncle Sam pointing
his finger, with a set jaw,
suggests anger.
 What messages does this
1918 Australian poster give
about Germans?
 They are evil and will leave
Europe in blood. The German,
indicated by his helmet, is
portrayed as a beast, with its
bloody arms dripping onto a
map of Europe.
 Why would the Australian
government represent
Germans this way?
 To support the war effort
against Germany—Australia
was a member of the British
Empire and felt loyal
 War is expensive—food, clothing, soldier
pay, weapons, transportation of troops and
 Rather than raise taxes on civilians,
governments asked people to raise their own
money for the war effort.
Lend Your Shillings
1915, Great Britain
D.D. Fry
According to The Official
Record of the United
States’ Part in the Great
War, Great Britain and
its colonies spent 38 billion
dollars waging war
in WWI
Buy Liberty Bonds
1918, U.S.A.
Joseph Pennell
The imaginary attack on New
York City would
have been highly unlikely with
the enemy
across an ocean that had yet to
be crossed in an
airplane. Nevertheless two
million copies of
this popular poster were
printed, demonstrating
that terror can be guaranteed
to sell war (Paret
Save Your Quarters
1917, U.S.A.
James M. Flagg
Buy War Loan Bonds
1918, India
T. Martin Jones
800,000 Indian men fought in WWI,
suffering more
than 100,000 casualties and nearly
bankrupting the
Indian economy. The Times of London
“The Indian empire has over-whelmed the
nation by the completeness and unanimity
of its
enthusiastic aid.”
Subscribe to the War
1918, Austria-Hungary
Bela Moldovan
 Industry was needed to produce all the
weapons and supplies for the war
 Marxist ideas had been spreading, causing
worker unrest—lots of strikes and anger in
the working class. Governments saw this as a
direct threat to the war effort and needed to
convince people to work hard for their
country’s sake.
Rivets are Bayonets
1916, U.S.A
John E. Sheridan
Workers are like soldiers,
working to win
the war for their country.
According to The Official Record of
the United States’ Part in the
Great War, “to build factories and
storage warehouses for
supplies, as well as housing for troops,
200,000 workmen in the
United States were kept continuously
occupied for the period of
the war.
The title and the image suggest that
building ships is linked to winning the
war. The sponsor organization is the
U.S. Shipping Board.
Soldiers All
1915, Great Britain
Bernard Partridge
It is unpatriotic and even
treasonous for workers to
strike during wartime.
The wounded soldier is
telling the sheepish
worker that striking is the
same as refusing to fight.
Once a German—
Always a German
1918, Great Britain
David Wilson
Another version of this
poster included this text:
“This man, who has
shelled churches,
hospitals, and open boats
at sea; this robber,
ravisher, and murderer,
AND this man, who after
the war, will want to sell
you his German goods,
Through Work to
Victory! Through
Victory to Peace!
1917, Germany
Alexander Cay
A Marxist Revolution had just
placed a communist government
in power in neighboring Russia
in 1917. Many powerful and
wealthy Germans feared a
Communist revolution in
Germany might emerge from
labor strikes. This poster stresses
cooperation between labor and
the military to win the war but
also to secure peace.
 In order for industry to do its job to supply
the war effort, energy was needed to run the
 Steel and copper were needed to
manufacture weapons.
Mine More Coal
1918, U.S.A.
Walter Whitehead
As a fuel that could propel
ships and warm homes
coal was an essential fuel
in WWI. The Fuel
Administration produced
many posters focused on
coal mining and use
including posting
instructions on how to fire
coal successfully.
Light Consumes Coal
1918, U.S.A.
Coles Phillips
Conserving energy was
a means to reduce
the depletion of a
limited resource.
Successful domestic
conservation efforts
meant that more coal
could be used in the
war effort.

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