When war becomes a subject, we tend to concentrate upon horrific violence, astounding machinery, political gamesmanship and lands left in ruin. The world of vintage war posters tends to celebrate a combatant’s power and virtue in the course of validating the heavy costs.

Those well-known phenomena are not, actually, on the table today. There is a civilian component of war which brings to us a remarkable wealth of endeavor very often ignored—but not, fortunately, ignored by vintage graphic artists, in expanding and deepening the war effort, not a source of cash flow.

The women farming here have both an abstract and concrete motive: production of foodstuffs for the anonymous troops; and cultivating fertile experience and friendships in an otherwise harsh standpoint.

Not pretty, but here the unseen machinists, as with the women on the farm, have their skills to appreciate, as well as delivery to a foreign front.

Off to war, there was the YMCA providing “His Home over There,” bringing, that is, a sense of very useful peacetime, amidst slaughter. It was, in fact, a place whereby warriors could maintain to some extent their sense of fun and freedom.

Here we have a young collector’s pleasure while being in the middle of serious commitments. The flow of support to the war becomes a heightening of family strength.

Many hands and skills at home, doing their part. The urgency of rapid construction, over a large work-space, would be a thrilling memory never forgotten.

On the other hand, this vintage modernist poster coming close to art deco, zeroes in on one industrial toiler and his sense of his place in the action. The air force insignia becomes a (King Arthur) round table of wise men!

This homeland confidence-booster has the makings of gung-ho, which subsequently delivers when the shooting starts.


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