"For Freedom's Sake. Buy War Bonds" Vintage WWII Poster, 1943

This is a vintage War Bond poster from WWII, circa 1943. The poster reads "For Freedom's Sake/ Buy War Bonds" in bright blue and red lettering. The poster was published out of Washington, D.C. by the U. S. Government Printing Office and designed by John Atherton. It depicts the Concord Minute Man statue, with the town of Concord in the background.

The Minute Man statue was unveiled on the centennial of the Battle of Lexington and Concord, which was fought on April 19, 1775 in Concord, Massachusetts. The statue was created by sculptor Daniel Chester French. It serves as a reminder of the lives lost at the Battle of Lexington and Concord, as well as the need to fight for one's freedom. This poster reminded Americans of their duty to protect their country's freedom, and encouraged them to support the war effort by buying War 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. 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. 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.

John Atherton was an American painter known for his strong sense of design and use of color. He produced paintings for advertisers, magazines, and galleries, with little differentiation between fine and commercial art.

CONDITION:

Overall very good condition. Fold line at center and some staining at top left. Printed "U.S. Government Printing Office: 1943-O-514158 WSS 789-A" at bottom center. Artist's initials "J.A" in blue at bottom right of composition, near house. Unframed.  

Unframed dimensions: 28" H x 22" W.




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