Original U.S. WWI Liberty Bonds Propaganda Poster By John Norton - 40” x 30”
Original Item: Only One Available. During World War I, the impact of the poster as a means of communication was greater than at any other time during history. The ability of posters to inspire, inform, and persuade combined with vibrant design trends to produce thousands of interesting visual works.
The use of posters as propaganda took off during World War I, and some of the most iconic images from this era are still in use today. For example, the image of Uncle Sam pointing at viewers and saying, "I WANT YOU," created by James Montgomery Flagg, dates from 1916 and was subsequently used throughout the rest of World War I, repurposed for World War II, and is still identifiable to many people today. The popularity of posters during World War I speaks to how effectively they could reach and influence the American people, conveying information while attempting to affect behavior.
While Liberty Bond posters often stressed such positive incentives as fulfilling one's patriotic duty, keeping the world safe for democracy, and backing "our boys" others sought to motivate through fear and loathing of the enemy. Here, John Norton deployed a simple, effective composition. Seen at ground level, blood-drenched boots bearing the German Reichsadler (Imperial Eagle) fuse with the title message of Keep these off the U.S.A. to suggest the threat of invasion. While the war never reached American soil, this and other Fourth Liberty Loan campaign posters were instrumental in raising some seven billion dollars.
The condition of the poster is a reflection of its age. There is minor tearing and stains to the edges with some repairs done to it with clear tape on the back side. The poster itself measures a rather large 40” x 30” and still has vibrant colors present to the artwork.
The poster comes more than ready to be framed and displayed!
A Liberty bond (or liberty loan) was a war bond that was sold in the United States to support the Allied cause in World War I. 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.
There were four issues of Liberty Bonds:
- April 24, 1917: Emergency Loan Act authorizes issue of $1.9 billion in bonds at 3.5 percent.
- October 1, 1917: Second Liberty Loan offers $3.8 billion in bonds at 4 percent
- April 5, 1918: Third Liberty Loan offers $4.1 billion in bonds at 4.15 percent.
- September 28, 1918: Fourth Liberty Loan offers $6.9 billion in bonds at 4.25 percent.
Interest on up to $30,000 in the bonds was tax exempt only for the First Liberty Bond.
A fifth bond issue relating to World War I was released on April 21, 1919. Consisting of $4.5 billion of gold notes at 4.75% interest, they matured after four years but could be redeemed by the government after three. Exempt from all income taxes, they were called at the time "the last of the series of five Liberty Loans." However they were also called the "Victory Liberty Loan," and appear this way on posters of the period.
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