"Buy War Bonds. Third War Loan" Vintage WWII Bonds Poster by Victor Kepples, 1943

Presented is an original WWII poster from 1943, promoting the purchase of War Bonds. The poster depicts a young boy with tears streaming from his eyes. Around his neck hangs a Medal of Honor, a gold star on a blue ribbon.  In his hand he holds a khaki soldier's cap. The text reads “BUY WAR BONDS” in red block letters at top. At the bottom of the poster is the text, “THIRD WAR LOAN” in white block letters on a red background. The poster was illustrated by Victor Keppler and published by The U.S. Government Printing Office. 

Defense Bonds first went on the market on May 1, 1941, and they were renamed War Bonds after the US entered the war in December 1941. Bonds were available in denominations of $25 through $1,000, designed to be affordable for every household. Eight War Loan Drives were conducted in the US from 1942 to 1945. Each was meant to raise an additional $9-$15 billion for the war fund. Towns received quotas, with the aim of promoting competition between towns. Volunteers went door-to-door, pleading for bond sales and rewarding purchasers with stickers to display on their window or door.

The drives were conducted on the following dates: First War Loan Drive: Nov. 30 to Dec. 23, 1942; Second War Loan Drive: Apr. 12 to May 1, 1943; Third War Loan Drive: Sep. 9 to Oct. 1, 1943; Fourth War Loan Drive: Jan. 18 to Feb. 15, 1944; Fifth War Loan Drive: June 12 to July 8, 1944; Sixth War Loan Drive: Nov. 20 to Dec. 16, 1944; Seventh War Loan Drive: May 14 to June 30, 1945; Victory Loan Drive: Oct. 29 to Dec. 8, 1945.

By the end of the war, 85 million Americans (out of a population of 131 million) had purchased $185.7 billion dollars of bonds – over $2,000 per person, at a time when the average income was $2,000 per year. The patriotism and personal sacrifice of the average citizen played a significant part in the Allied war effort.


Overall good condition. Colorful poster. Light toning to margins. Horizontal and vertical fold lines, from past storage. "U.S. Government Printing Office: 1943- 542951 WFD-840" at bottom right margin in black. Signed in lithographic stone by Victor Keppler.  Sold unframed, as-is. Unframed dimensions: 28" H x 20" W.

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