"Shall We Be More Tender With Our Dollar" Vintage WWI 2nd Liberty Loan Poster, 1917

This original WWI poster was issued as part of the Second Liberty Loan run and dates to 1917. The poster depicts a young soldier holding an American flag in one hand and his uniformed hat in the other. Next to him, a sailor holds a leaflet outstretched toward the viewer. The leaflet is printed with an emblem of the Statue of Liberty and says “We Depend On You.” At the top of the poster is a quote by Secretary of the Treasury McAdoo, “Shall we be more tender with our dollars than we are with the lives of our sons?” The quote is printed in white block letters on a red field. Below, the poster encourages viewers to “Buy A United States Government Bond of the 2nd Liberty Loan of 1917” in white block letters on a blue field. The poster was printed for the U.S. Treasury by Edwards & Deutsch Litho. Co. in Chicago.

The poster encourages Americans to help with the war effort by purchasing bonds to finance the war. Each of the four Liberty Loan campaigns (two in 1917, two in 1918) and the Victory Loan campaign of early 1919 aimed for rapid subscription in the loan and bond programs, to generate quick funding of the war effort. Subscribing to the bonds became a symbol of patriotic duty in the United States and introduced the idea of financial securities to many citizens for the first time. 

Working Americans could buy bonds in denominations of $25 to $1,000, which at the end of the war would be repaid with interest. Those who could not afford such expensive bonds, could buy war stamps in smaller denominations, to collect and then eventually trade in for war bonds. Consequently, there was an outpouring of poster art on both the local and national levels for these loan programs, including this particular poster.


Very good condition. Color stone lithograph. Paper is healthy, save a few closed tears into the image and minor creases. Poster is newly linen backed. Archivally framed with acid-free matting and backing, UV glass, and a custom-built black and gold wooden frame. 

Framed dimensions: 31 1/2" H x 21 1/2" W x 1 3/4" D.

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