Item:
ONJR23RNJ109

Original U.S. WWII Office of War Information Public Inquiries Bureau “Save Fats For Explosives” Propaganda Poster - 22 ½” x 16”

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. This is a lovely poster that shows just how resourceful countries can be during a time of war. This poster, produced by the Inquiries Bureau of the Office of War Information, is a “call to help” for the general public to assist in the war effort. The OWI operated from June 1942 until September 1945. Through radio broadcasts, newspapers, posters, photographs, films and other forms of media, the OWI was the connection between the battlefront and civilian communities. The office also established several overseas branches, which launched a large-scale information and propaganda campaign abroad. From 1942 to 1945, the OWI revised or discarded any film scripts reviewed by them that portrayed the United States in a negative light, including anti-war material.

“Save Waste Fats For Explosives” is just one of many posters that would have been posted up in general location such as grocery stores and butchers, for the public to see and encourage them to “do their part”. As part of the war effort, housewives were encouraged to save all used cooking fats and turn them in to their local butcher. The fact that extra ration stamps for food could be earned by doing this was a great incentive. These fats were then used to make explosives. One pound of fat contained enough glycerin to make nearly a pound of explosives. Glycerin is used in the manufacture of nitroglycerin, dynamite, blasting gelatin, and smokeless powders (Cordite and Ballestite). Until 1948 all glycerin was made primarily from animal fats by hydrolyzing the fat with an alkali, to form a soap and glycerol.

The images on this dramatic poster appear on a dark background to make sure the image and text stand out. At the top of the posters is the hand of a woman pouring grease from a frying pan. The frying pan and woman’s hand lit from below, highlighting the front of the frying pan, the gold stream of grease and the woman’s hand. Printed in yellow below the frying pan are the words “Save waste fats for explosives.” The stream of grease is falling behind the word “fat” into a bright explosion of white fire with yellow and red flames bursting from the center of the poster. Shooting out from the epicenter of the explosion are thirteen shells of various sizes ranging from a bullet to a torpedo. The tips of the shells are illuminated in white light, giving them a stainless steel effect. Below the shells printed in white capital letters on the black background are the words: “Take them to your meat dealer.

The poster is in wonderful condition and does show minor wear and tear to the edges, but nothing significant. The fold marks in the poster were intentionally made for the shipping and distribution process after production.

A lovely example ready for display.

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