War Bonds — World War II US Propaganda Posters

Behind the industrial machinery on U.S. soil to manufacture weapons and ammunition for the U.S. military and its allies on the front line night and day, the economy played a role that cannot be ignored, but its importance seems to have been overlooked by future generations.
World War II US Propaganda Posters War Bonds

Behind the industrial machinery on U.S. soil to manufacture weapons and ammunition for the U.S. military and its allies on the front line night and day, the economy played a role that cannot be ignored, but its importance seems to have been overlooked by future generations. Any long, large-scale war is largely a test of the economic strength of the two warring parties, once a country’s treasury reserves of hot silver shortage, then the use of savings bonds from the private sector to raise military funds became the only choice for all countries involved in the war, compared to the possible public discontent caused by raising the tax levy point – this is the “war bonds” from its inception.

Throughout World War II, the U.S. Treasury issued eight issues of Treasury bonds to finance the war effort, with more than 85 million purchases, raising approximately $185.7 billion.

U.S. Confederate Bond Sample
100 USD Liberty Bond Sample

In order to stimulate more people to buy the bonds, the U.S. Information Commission made numerous posters and deliberately instilled in the public the idea that buying bonds was equivalent to being patriotic.

4 Minute men- A message from Washington!(Welsh-DeWitt,1918)
If you can’t enlist-invest buy a liberty bond. Defend your country with your dollars (Winsor McKay,1918)
Famous American actor Douglas Van Bunker, a paid star of the Committee on Public Information, gives a public address in front of the Treasury Branch Building, photographed in 1918.
Advertisement for bonds in the September 30, 1935 issue of Time magazine.
The German poster artist Ricard Hauschild used his design to convey the Social Democratic Party’s “anti-monarchy, anti-Nazi, and anti-communist” platform to every German citizen. The “Thälmann” in the poster refers to Ernst Thälmann, the chairman of the German Communist Party at the time.
The original design for Odega’s “Minute Man” was created, but in the end, the 13 stars surrounding the figure, symbolizing the original 13 independent U.S. states, were removed because of the negative impact they might have on the remaining states.

Morgenthau forwarded the first defense bonds to President Roosevelt. Although this was a mere formality, it was an indication of the importance Roosevelt attached to the bond effort.

Morgenthau planned for the bonds to be issued on the morning of Thursday, May 1, 1941, and the printing of the bonds and stamps was already in full swing. At 9:20 p.m. EDT on April 30, Morgenthau was sitting next to Roosevelt, while a CBS crew was still working on the microphones, loudspeakers and broadcast signal output. 9:30 p.m. sharp, the American public heard a voice unlike any other, and it came from Morgenthau. “The U.S. government will provide an official answer tomorrow morning to the question of when the defense program will begin, which is of concern to many American people.” Morgenthau then set up the question, “Many people may ask, ‘What can we do?’ My answer is that U.S. defense bonds and stamps will be available to the public in every state, in every county, in every city, in every town in the United States. …… Any citizen has the right to buy them to do his or her small part in the defense of the United States.” After the speech, Morgenthau took out a prepared bond with a face value of $500 and told the public that the bond he was holding would be sold tomorrow morning along with other bonds.

Buy a share in America (National Defense Savings Working Group)
For defense. Buy United States Savings Bonds and Stamps (National Defense Savings Working Group,1941)
This year, give a share in America. Defense bonds and stamps (Norman Wilkinson,1941)
The U.S. Treasury asks every retailer to sell defense stamps (U.S. Department of the Treasury,1941)

The “Campus at War” program actively encouraged students to purchase stamps and bonds, and the military used the funds to purchase military jeeps, such as the $1,950 front-line ambulance jeep shown in the poster. As a sort of incentive, the Army allowed the name of the school that funded the purchase to be printed on the driver’s side of the jeep. By the end of 1943, the U.S. Army had more than 20,500 military jeeps purchased with funds raised through the “Wartime Campus” program.

ALL OUT= ALL BUY! (National Process Control Corporation,1942)

Charles Tubin, head of the Illinois District Bond Sale, who gave an appreciation speech to school students in the South Central District of Chicago, pictured on June 4, 1943. According to the amount of his check on the right, the district’s students raised $263,148.83, enough money to purchase 125 Jeeps and two airplanes.

Lombard, an actress who volunteered in sales in the lobby of the Indiana State Capitol, was photographed on January 15, 1942. In that one day alone, Lombard contributed $2.1 million in bond sales to the state.

When the news of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor spread to all corners of the United States, the sales of defense bonds rose steeply in a geometric multiple that was difficult to estimate.

Triumph over tyranny! Buy War Bonds (U.S. Department of the Treasury,1942)
In the chart above, which shows monthly sales of domestic bonds from May 1941 to October 1942, the Department of the Treasury specifically shows a line graph of sales of E bonds, with the steepest slope for $25 denomination bonds.
For freedom’s sake. Buy War Bonds(John Atherton,1943)

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