"Food Will Win The War" Vintage WWI Poster by Charles E. Chambers, 1917

Presented is an original WWI United States Food Administration propaganda poster.  This poster appeals to American immigrants, urging them to support the war effort through food conservation. The illustration depicts immigrants on the docks of Ellis Island, with a gleaming New York City skyline and the Statue of Liberty filling the background. The text “Food Will Win The War. You came here seeking Freedom. You must now help to preserve it. Wheat is needed for the allies. Waste nothing” fills the bottom of the poster in both green and black text. The poster was designed by Charles E. Chambers and printed in New York by Rusling Wood, Litho, in 1917. 

According to the census of 1910, in a total population of almost 92 million, 15 percent had been born outside of the United States. In the years prior to World War I, refugees fleeing the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the Russian Revolution, and anti-Semetic pogroms changed the demographics of the immigrant population as more people from Eastern and Southern Europe arrived on American shores. In 1917, the United States entered the war and began to simultaneously recruit soldiers and raise money for the war effort. Highly patriotic propaganda was designed to increase support for the war. This propaganda often targeted immigrant and ethnic groups, calling on them to demonstrate their loyalty through the purchase of liberty loans, enlistment in volunteer services, and the curbing of food waste. 

The United States Food Administration, created in 1917 and headed by Herbert Hoover, campaigned to convince Americans to voluntarily change their eating habits in order to have enough food to feed the military and starving civilians in Europe. This included conserving wheat, meat, sugar, and fats, so those items could be sent overseas. The Administration advocated using alternatives like honey or molasses for sugar and corn or barley for wheat.  They educated the populace with memorable slogans and posters, and invented “Meatless Mondays” and “Wheatless Wednesdays.” To free up transportation for war supplies, they also encouraged buying locally produced food and growing liberty gardens.

CONDITION: 

Very good condition. Color lithographed poster. Color is intact, with only light fading. Paper is healthy, save tiny splits along the top edge margin, since stabilized in a frame. Framed to the highest conservation standards with acid-free mats and a custom-built wooden frame. 

Dimensions: 31 3/4" H x 21 1/2" W x 1 3/4" D




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