Joseph Pennell


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“Provide the Sinews of War” was one of many posters issued by the United States government during World War I to encourage support of the war. American artist, Joseph Pennell, illustrated this provoking image in 1918 to advertise purchasing war bonds. The poster says, “Provide the Sinews of War Buy Liberty Bonds.” Liberty Loans were bonds that the government sold so they could keep up with the expenses of war. These were sold back to the government after the war. The statement is placed amidst the smoke, planes, and large military ship to provoke emotion and encourage Americans to contribute to the war effort. The literary definition of “sinews of war” is “the money needed for weapons and supplies during a war” (Cambridge Dictionary, 2019). The "sinews of war" in the title refer to the industrial material needed to win the war such as ships, cranes, planes, and loading equipment. These materials are pictured on the poster. Pennell’s poster is one of many propaganda posters appealing to American interests to garner support for purchasing war bonds. War bonds supplied the necessary funds required to maintain an army abroad. This poster was created and reproduced as a lithographic print at the time of its distribution.


WWI, poster, Liberty Loans, War Bonds, Joseph Pennell, Provide the Sinews of War