Original U.S. WWII War Production Board Propaganda Poster “Bundles For Berlin” - 40” x 28”
Original Item: Only One Available. Guns, tanks, and bombs were the principal weapons of World War II, but there were other, more subtle forms of warfare as well. Words, posters, and films waged a constant battle for the hearts and minds of the American citizenry just as surely as military weapons engaged the enemy. Persuading the American public became a wartime industry, almost as important as the manufacturing of bullets and planes. The Government launched an aggressive propaganda campaign with clearly articulated goals and strategies to galvanize public support, and it recruited some of the nation's foremost intellectuals, artists, and filmmakers to wage the war on that front.
The Government tried to identify the most effective poster style. One government-commissioned study concluded that the best posters were those that made a direct, emotional appeal and presented realistic pictures in photographic detail. The study found that symbolic or humorous posters attracted less attention, made a less favorable impression, and did not inspire enthusiasm. Nevertheless, many symbolic and humorous posters were judged to be outstanding in national poster competitions during the war.
The title of this war production poster, "Bundles for Berlin", is a takeoff of the popular "Bundles for Britain" volunteer campaign to help England survive the NSDAP onslaught before America entered the war in late 1941. This poster shows the effort to supply the “bundles” turning more aggressive in 1942.
This poster is unique in its use of the color yellow to accent the message all the while reinforcing the importance of wartime munitions production. In large yellow print at the top of the poster are the words “Bundles for Berlin”. At the bottom of the poster in white capital letters are the words “More Production." The words are superimposed over a scene of two servicemen loading a yellow bomb into the bottom of a plane in the shadows of the aircraft, in front of a yellow sky. The soldiers are wearing their ground support jumpsuits that have a yellow tint with black boots. The bomb bay door is open and the soldiers are squatted down, lifting the bomb with both hands into the plane. The soldier in the foreground is watching carefully at what he is doing. The figure of the soldier behind him is mostly obscured, but both men are striking a similar pose as they work in unison.
This 40” x 28” poster comes ready to be mounted, framed and displayed!
War Production Board
The War Production Board (WPB) was an agency of the United States government that supervised war production during World War II. President Franklin D. Roosevelt established it in January 1942, with Executive Order 9024. The WPB replaced the Supply Priorities and Allocation Board and the Office of Production Management.
The WPB directed conversion of companies engaged in activities relevant to war from peacetime work to war needs, allocated scarce materials, established priorities in the distribution of materials and services, and prohibited nonessential production. It rationed such commodities as gasoline, heating oil, metals, rubber, paper and plastics. It was dissolved shortly after the defeat of Japan in 1945, and was replaced by the Civilian Production Administration in late 1945.
In 1942–45, WPB supervised the production of $183 billion worth of weapons and supplies, about 40% of the world output of munitions. Britain, the USSR and other allies produced an additional 30%, while the Axis produced only 30%. One fourth of the US output was warplanes; one fourth was warships. Meanwhile, the civilian standard of living was about level.
The first chairman of the Board was Donald M. Nelson, who served from 1942 to 1944. He was succeeded by Julius A. Krug, who served from 1944 until the Board was dissolved.
The national WPB constituted the chair, the Secretaries of War, Navy, and Agriculture, the lieutenant general in charge of War Department procurement, the director of the Office of Price Administration, the Federal Loan Administrator, the chair of the Board of Economic Warfare, and the special assistant to the President for the defense aid program. The WPB had advisory, policy-making, and progress-reporting divisions.
The WPB managed twelve regional offices, and operated 120 field offices throughout the nation. They worked alongside state war production boards, which maintained records on state war production facilities and also helped state businesses obtain war contracts and loans.
The national WPB's primary task was converting civilian industry to war production. The WPB assigned priorities and allocated scarce materials such as steel, aluminum, and rubber, prohibited nonessential industrial production such as that of nylons and refrigerators, controlled wages and prices, and mobilized the people through patriotic propaganda such as "give your scrap metal and help Oklahoma boys save our way of life." It initiated events such as scrap metal drives, which were carried out locally to great success. For example, a national scrap metal drive in October 1942 resulted in an average of almost 82 pounds (37 kg) of scrap per American.
WPB order M-9-C related to the conservation of copper, and in May 1942 The Film Daily reported that this would apply to the production of new motion picture sound and projection equipment, but not to the delivery of items already produced.
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