“Blood or Bread” was one of many posters issued during World War I to encourage support of the war. This poster was illustrated by Henry Raleigh in 1918. According to the Documenting the American Sout..
“Blood or Bread” was one of many posters issued during World War I to encourage support of the war. This poster was illustrated by Henry Raleigh in 1918. According to the Documenting the American South Society, Raleigh was known to be one of the highest paid illustrators in America. This poster was commissioned by the United States Government Food Administration to advocate for conservation of food resources for overseas allies. It depicts an image of a shirtless man carrying a wounded man on a battlefield, reminding the home front of the wartime necessity of rationing in order to support the overseas soldiers. The poster includes the caption: “Blood or bread Others are giving their blood You will shorten the war save life if you eat only what you need and waste nothing.” The conservation message was clear: “Food will win the war. Waste nothing” (McCowen, 2017) Wilson and others in the administration worried about the toll on morale that forced rationing would take, so these organizations acted to coax Americans into voluntarily cutting back rather than directing them by law. Homemakers (and even schoolchildren) were asked to sign pledges to conserve food and eat less meat, wheat, sugar, and fats; and peer pressure—"Hang your sign in the window! Wear your pin!"—applied the heat to keep promises. This poster was created and reproduced as a lithographic print at the time of its distribution.