World War I poster on display at Milton Public Library
In commemoration of the hundredth anniversary of America’s entrance into World War I, the Milton Historical Society has put together a sampling of World War I posters from their collection. These fascinating examples of persuasive art are now on display in the Milton History Room on the second floor of the Milton Public Library.
Dating from 1917 and 1918, the posters show us one of the few tools that the government had to communicate with the public at that time. The U.S. government challenged artists and the newly emerging profession of marketing to mobilize the populace in support of a war that most people had hoped to stay out of.
Emotional engagement was the key to this successful advertising propaganda. “BANISH LONELY HOURS IN CAMPS” reads a poster asking people to donate books for soldiers. With millions of soldiers to feed, the government encouraged people to conserve food with posters directed at adults—“Feed a Fighter – WASTE NOTHING” and even at children“Little Americans Do Your Bit – LEAVE NOTHING ON YOUR PLATE!”
The exhibit featuring these and many other posters is open to the public during regular hours at the Milton Public Library, 476 Canton Avenue, and will be on display through November 2017.