Harry S. Truman Presidential Library & Museum

Mobilizing For War:
Poster Art of World War II


"To build factories, and buy the materials, and pay the labor, and provide the transportation, and equip and feed and house the soldiers, sailors, and marines, and to do all the thousands of things necessary in a war - all cost money, more money than has ever been spent by any nation at any time in the history of the world."
President Franklin D. Roosevelt, radio address, April 28, 1942

By the spring of 1942 a mobilized United States was spending about $100 million a day to support the war effort. On the home front Americans were asked to finance the war not only by paying their taxes but also by buying war bonds.

Posters urged working citizens to invest ten percent of their earnings in bonds. The Treasury Department's War Finance Division was the most prolific producer of war bond posters, and sales of bonds grew dramatically during the war. Between May and July of 1942 the monthly goal increased from $400 million to $1 billion a month. By the launch of the Fifth War Loan in mid-1944 the goal had been raised to $16 billion in bond sales.