“Save Your Child” was one of many posters issued by the U.S. government during World War I to encourage people to buy War Savings stamps (W.S.S.). W.S.S. could be purchased for 25 cents and, when enough were accumulated, they could be traded in for war bonds. The use of women and children as objects of propaganda was common in World War I. Images of women and children in despair was a form of advertising to encourage the American people to support the war. Children were used to disseminate propaganda. The authorities emphasized and played to the huge influence children wielded over their parents. Children were co-opted to convey norms, values and politically biased information to parents and families, as the caption above says, “Save your child from autocracy and poverty.” This poster is also using a child as propaganda to advertise war savings stamps. World War I cost the federal government more than 30 billion dollars (by way of comparison, total federal expenditures in 1913 were only $970 million), these programs became vital as a way to raise funds through the bond drives—a precursor of modern savings bonds. Nonetheless, even selling stamps in denominations as small as 25 cents, the government sold a billion dollars worth of the stamps (“WWl Propaganda Posters”, 2019). The Liberty Loan and War Savings Stamp drives, which drew heavily on English and European models, serve today as powerful symbols of the extraordinary mass mobilization during the war—the attempt to recruit the entire population into the war effort. This poster was created by American artist Herbert Andrew Paus in 1918. Paus was an illustrator known best for his work for the magazine, Popular Science. The poster was created and reproduced as a lithographic print at the time of it’s distribution.
WWI, poster, War Savings Stamps, W.S.S., propaganda, lithographic print