Original U.S. WWII National Security Careless Talk Propaganda Poster - 20” x 26”

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. Concerns about national security intensify in wartime. During World War II, the Government alerted citizens to the presence of enemy spies and saboteurs lurking just below the surface of American society. "Careless talk" posters warned people that small snippets of information regarding troop movements or other logistical details would be useful to the enemy. Well-meaning citizens could easily compromise national security and soldiers' safety with careless talk.

“Words are ammunition. Each word an American utters either helps or hurts the war effort. He must stop rumors. He must challenge the cynic and the appeaser. He must not speak recklessly. He must remember that the enemy is listening.”

-Government Information Manual for the Motion Picture Industry Office of War Information

Award For Careless Talk is a 1944 American World War II propaganda poster by Steven Dohanos created to help raise awareness of espionage. During the Second World War, there was a constant concern in the United States about inappropriate information being overheard by enemy agents both domestically and abroad. Dohanos worked for the Section of Painting and Sculpture of the U.S. Treasury Department. Among several murals created for post offices during this time, Dohanos designed many American
propaganda pieces that centered on the theme of "Careless Talk."

This approximately 20” x 26” poster features an all orange background with a hand wearing an NSDAP ring holding an Iron Cross. Dohanos has used this type of artwork in other posters as well, one being the ever so popular “Puzzle Piece” poster. The message featured at the top and bottom of the poster is:


This is a lovely poster with a powerful message. The condition is excellent and is free of damage. There are crease marks present which is normal for War Time posters. They were folded after printing to make the shipping and distribution process easier.

A whole series of posters was devoted to the theme of not talking about information obtained at one's place of work or from V mail received from the troops. Dohanos, a noted illustrator famous for his Saturday Evening Post covers, was responsible for several of the "Don't Talk" set of posters. This is considered one of the more graphically powerful. This design was also a winner in the 1942 Artist for Victory contest sponsored by the Museum of Modern Art.

Comes ready to mount, frame and display!

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