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‘I won’t eat no more ice cream’ and other propaganda posters of WWI

All Together poster

During World War I, posters beckoned civilians to join the armed forces and beseeched state-side warriors to conserve wheat and sugar, all in the name of helping the troops. Below is a sample of some of those posters.

Use of tanks in World War I was relatively new. The Tanks Corps of the U.S. Armed Forces at first used French and British-made armored vehicles:

Tanks Corps poster

Celebrating the nation’s 142nd birthday was a bayonet-bearing Uncle Sam:

Uncle Sam poster

A poster depicts the bloody hand of a “Hun” or German soldier:

Hun poster

A more pointed message on the same theme:

Boots poster

Liberty bonds helped fund the war effort:

Bonds poster

A poster encourages support of women in France by conserving wheat:

france1

A more foreboding poster touts the same call for conservation:

Wheat poster

Swearing off sugar in the name of the war effort also was a trend:

Sugar poster

The “donut lassies” of the Salvation Army cooked the confection for American soldiers, or “doughboys,” on the front lines — explaining where all the sugar went:

Lassies poster

A poster for the U.S. Marines features a woman in uniform. Women served as secretaries, messengers, newsletter writers and recruiters filling in for male office personnel who were reassigned to the front:

Marines poster

A Navy recruitment poster takes a different tack:

Navy poster

The National Guard got in on the recruiting action:

National Guard poster

Private companies appealed to people’s patriotism to recruit workers as well:

Sleeves Up poster

The war spurred the use of trucks as a means for transporting cargo to supplement busy railroads:

Truck poster

Posters encouraged soldier to stick it out until the end:

Honorable Discharge poster

All images of World War I posters are courtesy of the National Archives.

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