World War I Poster Collection
The United States' entry into World War I generated the creation and publication of thousands of colorful posters, both at the national and the local level. Over 350 World War I posters are preserved in the State Archives of North Carolina collection. They include recruitment posters from all branches of the armed forces and posters by service organizations such as the American Red Cross and the YWCA, urging monetary donations to support their work at home and abroad. Other posters helped the government raise millions of dollars through the sale of Liberty Bonds. Posters by the US Fuel Administration and the Food Administration called for additional civilian participation in the common war effort. Posters issued by the US Labor Department, Norfolk Naval Shipyard, and the Emergency Fleet Corporation urged increased production and efficiency, so that equipment and war material could reach American soldiers on the front lines in Europe. Many artists used their considerable talents in the creation of posters. A few, such as Howard Chandler Christy, had already achieved commercial fame; others were of local note. This collection includes original posters created in North Carolina by Fred V. Owen and T. S. Davidson, whose hand-drawn and hand-painted works were apparently created for the US Army Recruiting Offices in Greensboro, Charlotte, and Asheville, NC.
A finding aid for the Poster Collection, as well as scanned images of additional posters, can be found by searching the MARS online catalog. More images can be found in the World War I collection of the North Carolina Digital Collections.
Click on an image to see a larger view.