Click images for descriptions and source information.
Tag: historical posters
“Christmas collection of the Bavarian Red Cross for our men in field gray” reads the caption of this Red Cross poster from Germany during the Great War. The angelic Christkind it features shines bright yellow in the dark Christmas night as she delivers parcels wrapped in field grey to men on the front. Stars twinkle above her, and there is snow underfoot. To her left is a sled heavy with more parcels, and to her right is a dependable, mustached soldier, pipe in mouth, a freshly delivered parcel in his hands.
The poster appears to have been published in 1917. A photograph taken in Louisville, Kentucky, the same year shows a similar effort by the American Red Cross: women preparing Christmas parcels for American soldiers.
Image source: “Weichnachts-Sammlung des bayerischen Roten Kreuzes für die Feldgrauen,” wartime poster by Walter Püttner (Munich: Fritz Maison, ), via Library of Congress, https://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/2004666146/.
WPA poster by Erik Hans Krause, ca. 1936–39.
Source: Library of Congress PPOC, https://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/98516190/.
WPA Federal Art Project in New York City, ca. 1936/37. The play was based on a novel about fascism happening here.
Source: Library of Congress PPOC, https://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/92516051/.
I find this 1917 poster interesting because it seems to target urban, working-class immigrants. Besides the dress of the people waiting in line to lend Uncle Sam some money, there is the American flag held by the child, whose enthusiasm attracts the attention of the adults around her.
Children, whether immigrants themselves or native born, seem to have played a special role in immigrant families, mediating in different ways the adults’ encounter with the culture and institutions of the new country. Certainly the authorities saw such potential in these children.*
* On this last point, see Simone Lässig, “The History of Knowledge and the Expansion of the Historical Research Agenda,” Bulletin of the German Historical Institute 59 (Fall 2016): 29–32.
Poster from 1919. Source and further details: Library of Congress PPOC, https://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/2002708879/.