Home/Collections/Posters/Homefront Posters

Homefront Posters

Will you have a part in Victory? “Every Garden a Munition Plant”

Quote: Charles Lathrop Pack

Publisher: U.S. Government Printing Office

Printed: 1918

Timeline: WWI

This poster was produced by the National War Garden Commission in 1918 to encourage Americans on the home front to seek information about gardening, canning, and drying vegetables. War Gardens, as they were referred to in the United States during World War I, were gardens planted at homes and even in public spaces to help reduce the wartime pressure on the public food supply. In World War II, Americans referred to them as “Victory Gardens”. Apart from their direct support for the war effort, War/ Victory Gardens were also a good tool to increase public awareness and support for the war effort. Similar programs existed in the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and Germany during both World Wars.

Save Waste Paper

Give or Sell It!

Artist: Alex Koss

Publisher: U.S. Government

Printed: 1941-1945

Timeline: WWII

This poster was printed from 1941-1945 by the US Government. Similar paper saving campaigns were launched in the UK and other countries. Waste paper could be used to help create shell containers, cartridge wads, mortar bomb carriers, demolition cartons, targets, and interior components for mines, all of which were vital for the front lines. Posters such as this were important for reminding Americans that paper salvaging was not pointless and that its inconvenience was necessary.

You Are Needed Now: Join the Army Nurse Corps

Artist: Ruzzie Green

Publisher: Army Nurse Corps

Printed: 1943

Timeline: WWII

This 1943 poster told women specifically that they were needed to win the war, something previously not common. In December of 1941, the US Army Nurse Corps consisted of less than 1,000 nurses. However, by the end of World War II, more than 59,000 Americans served in the Army Nurse Corps, including 479 black women. This eventually led to a nurse shortage on the home front, which was solved using the Cadet Nurse Corps program. Furthermore, World War II nurses were more directly in harm’s way than ever before, with thousands serving in field, evacuation, train, and ship hospitals and as flight nurses. Their skills led to a relatively low post-injury mortality rate within the US Army during World War II, with fewer than 4% of soldiers who received medical care in the field or underwent evacuation dying from their wounds or subsequent disease. In addition to their primary roles, Army nurses also instructed field medics on how to perform their jobs. It is of note that the American Red Cross, not the US Army itself, was responsible for recruiting nurses into the Army Nurse Corps, as demonstrated by this poster.

Have You Really Tried to Get Into a Car Club

Artist: Harold Von Schmidt

Publisher: U.S. Government Printing Office

Printed: 1943

Timeline: WWII

This 1944 poster used artwork by Harold Von Schmidt to remind the public that carpooling was still just as important to the war effort. Given the stern look on the soldier’s face, it is implied that those not carpooling were not fully supporting Americans on the frontlines. Gasoline rationing was in effect throughout the Second World War. However, it wasn’t actually the gasoline that was needed so desperately for the war effort; it was tires. The Japanese had cut off the rubber supply the US depended on in East Asia, making the need to conserve rubber back home vital. By forcing the public to cut down on gasoline consumption, they also wound up needing fewer tires for their cars throughout the duration of the war.

I’ll Carry Mine Too!

Trucks and Tires Must Last Until Victory

Artist: Valentino Sarra

Publisher: U.S. Government Printing Office

Printed: 1942

Timeline: WWII

In 1942 rationing of resources and materials, which were needed for the war effort, began. Automobile manufacturers stopped making cars and began producing tanks and aircraft. Rubber for tires became scarce as a result of Japan’s successful invasion of Malaya and the Dutch East Indies. Gasoline, for civilians, was rationed. Every car displayed an “A”, “B”, or “C” gas ration sticker on the windshield. “A” meant that trips taken by the driver were not essential. “B” indicated that the driver used his car for his work, for instance a traveling salesman. “C” was issued to doctors, law enforcement officers, or other persons whose work was deemed essential. “A” sticker drivers were allowed only 3 gallons of gasoline per week. To conserve gas, civilians were also asked to form carpools and avoid unnecessary trips. As an extra conservation measure, the maximum speed limit was reduced to 35 miles per hour.