Original U.S. WWII 1942 Someone Talked OWI Propaganda Poster by Frederick "Fritz" Siebel - 40 x 28

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. Created by artist Fred Siebel this WW2 Someone Talked 1942 propaganda poster is in wonderful condition having been professionally mounted to a heavy canvas backing.

The poster measures 40 x 28 while the backing measures 42 x 30. "Someone Talked!", poster depicts a drowning man beyond your help who points accusingly. This particular poster is notable for being part of a 1942 contest sponsored by Devoe & Reynolds Painting Company to create images that would reinforce the importance of protecting information. Careless discussion of the whereabouts of troops or ships was hazardous to National Security, and many troop ships were being attacked by German u-boats. The contest was judged by notable individuals, such as Eleanor Roosevelt, and this poster won numerous awards. It was placed on display at Radio City, and copies were distributed throughout the country. These posters and others like it were displayed in shipyards, army and navy posts, waterfront bars, restaurants, public buildings and gathering places; and wherever there was danger of spies or saboteurs.

The poster is nicely marked on the bottom border:


OWI Poster No. 18. Additional copies may be obtained upon request from the Division of Public Inquiries, Office of War Information, Washington, D.C.

U. S. Government Printing Office: 1942—O-496733

The condition of the poster is very good, with vibrant colors and no fading it shows the original fold creases but remains smooth and crisp.

Biography of Artist Illustrator Frederick "Fritz" Siebel (1913-1991)

Frederick Siebel, known as Fred or Fritz, was born on December 19, 1913 in Vienna, Austria to parents from Czechoslovakia, and held citizenship in both countries. His father was a lawyer in Vienna, and also had a stake in the family hops farm in Czechoslovakia, where Fritz spent his summers with his siblings and other relatives. He studied Illustration and stage design at the School of Applied Arts in Vienna, and later served 2 years in the Czech army, ending in 1936. Siebel then immigrated to the United States in 1936, and in 1937 made a trip back to Vienna, returning with the rest of his family to New York City. Remaining family unfortunately died during the course of WWII.

Able to speak English, German, and other European languages, Siebel was able to work with other immigrant artists and was employed by Paramount Pictures in a studio on Broadway, making movie posters and other advertising materials. From 1941 to 1943, Siebel also served in the U.S. Army, and it was during this time that "Someone Talked" was created. The publicity from this iconic war poster dramatically increased Siebel's job opportunities, and he developed a long association with several magazines, including Colliers, and did covers and other illustrations under nickname "Fred" Siebel.

Around this time he began a long association with Rahl studios in New York doing advertising illustrations. Anita Virgil,who worked at Rahl Studios in the 1950's with Siebel, describes him as: "... a buttoned down commercial arts professional…totally focused on his profession…He was a handsome, big-headed, can-do, fast-moving, large-boned, big voice guy-type fellow." Though he received no recognition for it, while working at Rahl, he conceived and designed the iconic "Mr. Clean" for Proctor & Gamble, a design that has been in use ever since. He also worked with other companies including Textron, CBS, GE, Ford, Shell Oil, Ballantine Beer, Schlitz Beer, and General Cigar Co. during this time, amassing a huge body of work. He was truly a prolific illustrator during the "golden age of illustration" in the 1940s and 50s.

1959 marked the beginning of a different part of Siebel's career, as he was contacted by book publisher Random House to make illustrations for their "Beginner Books" line. He illustrated two books for this line under name "Fritz" Siebel, including "A Fly Went By", a classic children's book. After moving to Harper and Row, he illustrated for the "I Can Read" series of books, creating the original image of character "Amelia Bedelia, still well-known today. Siebel also went on to create his own design firm, adapting to the shift from illustration to photography when used in advertising.

Frederick "Fritz" Siebel passed away in December of 1991, having made an enormous impact on the world of illustration, and advertising in general.

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