"We can... We will... We must... Buy U.S. War Savings Bonds & Stamps Now" Vintage WWII Poster, 1942

This is a vintage savings bond poster from WWII, dating to 1942. The poster reads "Buy U.S. War Savings Bonds & Stamps Now" in yellow lettering, its message set below a large waving American flag. To the left, an inset text box reads "We can... We Will... We Must... ...Franklin D. Roosevelt", with a small silhouette of the minute man statue. The poster was published in Washington, D.C. by the U. S. Government Printing Office. 

This poster reminded Americans of their duty to protect their country's freedom, and encouraged them to support the war effort by buying savings bonds and stamps. Printed for the U.S. Treasury Department, this was among the most popular posters created during the war. It was issued in a number of sizes and reproduced at large scale on highway billboards. The quotation is drawn from President Roosevelt’s May 27, 1941 Fireside Chat, in which he declared an “unlimited national emergency” in response to German aggression in Europe. In that speech, FDR argued that speedy delivery of emergency military supplies to Great Britain was “imperative,” adding: “I say that this can be done; it must be done; and it will be done.”

During WWII, the government received funding directly from United States citizens in the form of war saving bonds and stamps, which were paid back later with interest. Purchasing war bonds was viewed as a way for American citizens to support the war effort. Traditionally, large dollar bond amounts, ranging from $50 to $1000, were purchased for bonds. However, in the 1940’s, the average American did not have extra money to purchase these large bond amounts. In response, war savings stamps were created by the United States Post Office. 

These postal stamps were in smaller denominations, starting at 10 and 25 cents, ranging up to $1 and $5, and could be collected in a war bond stamp book. The stamps earned no interest, but were used to eventually redeem a Series E War Bond. Once a person collected enough stamps they could purchase a larger war bond of $25, $50, or $100. Employees could also authorize a certain allotment from each paycheck to be saved towards the purchase of a war savings bond. Known as the payroll savings plan, the employer would deliver the bond out of the designated savings from his paycheck. 

Eight War Loan Drives were conducted in the US from 1942 to 1945. 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:

Very good condition.Color lithograph. Color is vibrant with only minimal fading. Paper is very healthy, with tears or stains. Printed "U. S. Government Printing Office: 1942-O-453557 Form DSS-355" at bottom left margin. Poster Dimensions : 11 1/8" H x 20 1/2" W. 

Poster is archivally framed with acid-free gray top mats, UV Conservation clear glass, and a custom-built black and silver wooden frame. Framed Dimensions: 15 1/2" H x 24 3/4" W x 1" D. 




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