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“If You Knew a Day’s Pay Would Save a Life” was one of many posters issued by the U.S. government during World War I to encourage support of the war. This is a poster commissioned by the American Red Cross from an unknown artist. This fundraising poster reminded the public that all Red Cross War Funds went to War Relief and encouraged Americans to donate. The American Red Cross was founded in 1881 by Clara Barton to provide relief to individuals impacted by natural disasters and military conflict. Before the war the Red Cross was a small and insignificant organization based in the U.S.. During the war, they saved money and provided help to the warring nations in Europe. Once the U.S. entered the war, the Red Cross exploded with volunteers and funding from the government. WWI made the Red Cross into a global organization that was capable of helping people around the world. President Wilson called for all Americans to volunteer and donate funds to help the Red Cross aid soldiers fighting in Europe. The American Red Cross provided services in Europe to both Allied and American military personnel, and civilian war victims (“The U.S. During World War I”, 2019.) While the exact publication date is unknown, it is likely that this poster circulated between the years of 1917 - 1919. The poster was most likely created and reproduced as a lithographic print at the time of it’s distribution.


WWI, poster, American Red Cross, United States Government