"Our Good Earth... Keep it Ours" Vintage WWII War Bonds Poster by John Steuart Curry, 1943

Presented is an original WWII propaganda poster, encouraging viewers to Buy War Bonds. This poster was illustrated by John Steuart Curry and published by the U.S. Government Printing Office in 1943. 

In 1941, The U.S. Department of the Treasury asked American regionalist painter John Steuart Curry to produce a war propaganda poster as the country entered World War II. Though many posters used fear to inspire patriotism, Curry believed Americans would be more inspired by a positive image. For the commission, Curry painted “Our Good Earth” which features the monumental figure of a farmer standing in his fields, flanked by two children who represent the future. The painting symbolizes the power of American agriculture to feed soldiers fighting to defend the country for future generations. The U.S. government then reproduced the painting into a propaganda poster, with the added captions, “Our Good Earth—Keep it Ours,” “BUY WAR BONDS,” and “Make Every Market Day BOND Day.” 

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.

CONDITION:

Overall good condition. Very colorful poster. Horizontal and vertical fold lines and creasing, from past storage. Light toning.  "U.S. Government Printing Office: 1943- O-470156  WSS 509" at bottom center margin. Signed in lithographic stone by John Steuart Curry.  Unframed dimensions: 22" H x 14" W.

Poster is presented archivally framed, in a custom black wood frame with UV glass. Framed Dimensions: 23 1/2" H x 15 1/4" W x 1" D. 




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