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Collection Highlights

  • World War II poster depicting an illustration of a soldier with buttons holding his mouth shut, against a red background.

    Careless Talk

    Artists contrasted zipped or button-lipped cartoon characters and wartime scenes of devastation and personal injury to send the message loose lips on the home front could unintentionally reveal information to spies and saboteurs.

  • World War II poster with a color illustration of a blonde mother and daughter in matching red dresses and white aprons canning food.

    Conservation of natural resources

    Conservation and sacrifices on the home front played an important role in protecting those serving overseas and in winning the war. Growing and preserving food was inspired by catchy “Can All You Can” designs or via easy step-by-step instructions on canning.

  • World War II poster with a color illustration of workers holding dollar bills.

    Defense and war bonds

    Resonating with vibrant patriotic symbols such as the Statue of Liberty and the American flag, “War Bond” drive posters from the U.S. Treasury Department were instrumental in soliciting donations to finance the war and provided another mechanism those on the home front could contribute to war efforts.

  • Illustration of the Hindenburg in flight.

    German propaganda: the 1936 Berlin Olympics

    The German-created Nazi propaganda piece, American Illustrated News, targeted international spectators and press attending the XIth Olympiad in Berlin. Herbert Dassel, C. H. Kleukens and Paul Stadlinger shared graphic design credits and Karl Bergmann served as its editor. Printed on fragile newsprint, this now rare item was donated by an Illinois State University emeritus faculty member, Harlan W. Peithman.

  • Illustration of tanks being assembled in a factory.


    From rivet guns to machine guns, posters explicitly made the connection from the factory to the frontlines.

  • World War II color poster featuring Jenny on the Job pushing a cart with three boxes on it

    Women serving in the war effort

    Women are depicted in a wide variety of war roles including “Jenny on the Job,” a model production worker drawn by artist Kula Robbins in a series of posters issued by the U.S. Public Health Services.