Pop Culture in the 1940's
The World War Two era was a very different time from today. The armed forces were actively recruiting men to serve their countries. People back home were being coached on how to do without some things they had always considered as necessities of life. Women were asked to take on jobs that were previously only done by men. And the golden rule of silence meant saving the lives of soldiers over there.
All of these things were very important to the war effort. So how did the government get the backing of its people? Through the art of propaganda posters.
Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain
No war has ever been fought on the battlefield alone. Machines must be made, money must be raised to support the war effort, food must be raised, and supplies must be rationed to feed the many. All of these were major issues on the American homefront during World War II.
With most of the able-bodied young American men at war, the American women stepped up to the plate. And what a plate it was. Food (among many other things) was rationed, and maintaining a garden was a must to feed your family well. That meant canning to preserve the food for the winter months too.
But it didn't stop with raising a garden. One of the most famous propaganda posters ever, Rosie the Riveter pictured above, proves that. Women were also needed to keep the supplies flowing to the front lines. That meant factory work. Women were asked to do what no woman had ever done before.
Image Credit: Belinda342
This may have been the very beginning of recycling. Americans were asked to save any metal they could to help with the war effort.
Rationing food is hard to sell, but I think this poster did its job well!
This one I stole from the British. I simply love the sentiment!
With the rationing, growing and canning your own food was a must. Posters like this spread the word.
Army, Navy, Marines and More
Recruiting for the Armed Forces was a very necessary thing in the WWII era. It was a different time back then. There were crops to be planted and harvested, and income to be earned by the men of the family. It was a strain on family life for the young and healthy men to go to war.
Hence, the poster recruitment campaign. Things were changing on a daily basis, and patriotism had never been stronger.
On top of all of that, if you were a young male the chances were good that you were going to be drafted if you didn't enlist on your own. The Armed Forces knew this, too, and some of them structured their campaigns to fit that bill. If you were going to serve, why not make sure you were serving in the branch you really wanted? Why let Uncle Sam decide for you? And a propaganda campaign was born.
The most famous American recruiting poster of them all!
My Dad was Army Infantry
To Keep Our Boys Safe
If you've ever seen a WWII letter written by a soldier "over there", you'll remember that they were very hard to read. That's because they were very highly censored. Anything and everything that could tell the enemy anything about where our troops were stationed or what they were doing was neatly blocked out with little black boxes. There was usually very little left to read once the censors got done.
There was a reason for it, though. The best reason of all--to keep our boys safe. This began the Silence is Golden campaign. Posters were used for this as well. They helped to keep the safety of our sons and husbands in the forefront of the minds left at home.
Loose lips sink ships. This one reminded our boys to keep the silence.
Funding a War
In times of war, Governments issue what is known as war bonds. The money raised from these bonds are used to fund the military efforts of the country. Yields are normally lower than market value, and so they must be actively sold.
The whole campaign for buying war bonds was based on two overlaying principles:
1) Giving our soldiers what they needed to fight and win the war, and
2) Plain and simple Patriotism. The idea of doing our part for the nation and our future.
Already framed and ready to hang!
A nice tin sign showing that war is a joint effort...
I love this one. For some reason, I just know it would make me buy a bond! My own personal way of throwing that grenade.
This one would speak volumes to any mother.
Two Iconic WWII Photographs
Sometimes, even in war, a photographer with a camera is exactly where they need to be to catch that once in a lifetime shot. Here are my two favorites from the WWII era.
I'm sure you'll recognize them.
Perhaps the most famous kiss of all time...