Poster of the Day

“Food Will Win the War” by Charles Chambers

vintage poster, Food Will Win the War by Charles ChambersThe American Dream is aptly evoked in this uplifting poster by Charles Chambers. Printed in several languages to appeal to recent immigrants, the poster shows newcomers on a ship deck in New York Harbor, with the Statue of Liberty beneath a red, white and blue rainbow. Framing the scene is the New York skyline, glowing in the morning sun.

The poster was prophetic in its appeal: food would be a decisive factor in winning the war for the Allies. America produced half of the world’s corn and a quarter of its wheat in 1917, and Herbert Hoover, the head of the U.S. Food Administration, recognized that only America could overcome the severe food shortages in Europe. Hoover, an ardent free marketer, refused to resort to centralized policing and rationing, which was the norm in every other country. With an army of 750,000 volunteers and only 8,000 paid staff, the Food Administration was totally successful in its mission to feed the Allies.

This poster asked Americans to conserve wheat, the most critical food item. Several posters were devoted to substituting corn, barley and vegetables.

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