Harry S. Truman Presidential Library & Museum

World War II in Posters

Designed to build morale and to urge citizens to contribute their part to the war effort, posters were a vital communication medium, as well as an important art form, during the Second World War. Produced by government agencies and by commercial firms, posters conveyed their messages through a combination of emotional illustrations and memorable phrases of text. They inspired patriotism by urging Americans on the home front to make sacrifices for the benefit of the war effort.

In 2001, the Truman Library received an important collection of almost 500 World War II posters. The posters in this collection address such diverse topics as wartime security, enlistment, production of food and war materials, salvage and conservation, patriotic inspiration, relief efforts, and funding of the war through the sale of war bonds.

The collection was assembled by Doris Garrett Shanklin of Winchester, Massachusetts, whose home was used as a Red Cross bandage wrapping station during the war. A small selection of these posters is displayed here.

Loose Talk Can Cost LIves