Presented is an original World War I Liberty Loan propaganda poster. This poster appeals to American immigrants, urging them to support the war effort by buying government bonds. The illustration depicts immigrants arriving by boat at Ellis Island, with the Statue of Liberty filling the background. The text “Remember Your First Thrill of American Liberty” is at top in red, “Your Duty- Buy United States Government Bonds, 2nd Liberty Loan of 1917” fills the bottom of the poster in blue. The poster was printed in New York by Sackett & Wilhelms Corp., 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.
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 then 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 lithograph, with colors strong and paper only lightly toned. Poster is linen backed, with minor marginal repairs. Framed to the highest archival standards with acid-free matting 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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