This is an original World War II poster, dating to 1943. The poster reads "Let 'Em Have It" and “Buy Extra Bonds” in bold yellow and white block letters. The poster's composition features a soldier throwing a grenade on the battlefield. Black and blue smoked filled skies and barbed wire are seen behind him. The 4th War Loan Shield is illustrated prominently at center left. The poster was illustrated by Bernard Perlin and produced by the U.S. Government Printing Office, for the US Treasury, in Washington D.C.
When America entered the war, new government organizations, including the 1942 Office of War Information (OWI), were tasked with putting out a singular patriotic message, achieved primarily through posters and printed pamphlets. The war ushered in the biggest advertising campaign to date, critical to the wartime communication needs of every combatant: from raising money, recruiting soldiers and boosting volunteer efforts, to spurring production and provoking outrage at enemy atrocities. One of the most common themes found in the posters was the purchase of War Bonds and Victory Bonds.
The government received funding directly from United States citizens in the form of war saving bonds and stamps, which were paid back later with interest. Purchasing war bonds was viewed as a way for American citizens to support the war effort. Traditionally, large dollar bond amounts, ranging from $50 to $1000, were purchased for bonds.
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. Eight War Loan Drives were conducted in the US from 1942 to 1945. Each was meant to raise an additional $9-$15 billion in sales. Towns received quotas, with the aim of promoting competition between towns. Volunteers went door-to-door, pleading for 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.
Very good condition overall. Color lithographic poster. Color is vibrant with very little fading. The poster is signed and dated in the lithographic stone at the bottom left, “B. Perlin 1943.” "U.S. Government Printing Office: 1943-O-563183" is printed in the bottom left margin, "Official U.S. Treasury Poster" is printed in the bottom center margin and "WFD 879A" is printed in the bottom right margin. Framed to the highest conservation standards with acid free mats and a custom built wooden frame.
Dimensions: 29 3/4" H x 21 1/2" W x 1 3/4" D.
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