• "An education for you. Join the tanks U.S. Army," 1918. This United States Army Tank Corps recruitment poster emphasizes the ability to learn a new skill in the armed services. Courtesy of the Boston Public Library via Digital Commonwealth.

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    An education for you. Join the tanks U.S. Army
    • Date
    • 1918
    • Creator
    • Wharton, J. P
    • Description
    • United States Army Tank Corps recruitment poster emphasizing the ability to learn a new skill in the armed services. Image shows a soldier fixing the wheel of a military tank. Caption below title reads, "See recruiting officer."; Stamped "3 Tremont R... more
      United States Army Tank Corps recruitment poster emphasizing the ability to learn a new skill in the armed services. Image shows a soldier fixing the wheel of a military tank. Caption below title reads, "See recruiting officer."; Stamped "3 Tremont Row. Boston. less
    • Rights
    • No known copyright restrictions. No known restrictions on use.
    • Partner
    • Digital Commonwealth
    • Contributing Institution
    • Boston Public Library

  • "Join the army air service. Be an American eagle!," 1918. Image of American eagle fighting a large black German eagle, juxtaposed with a fleet of US fighter planes. Courtesy of the Boston Public Library via Digital Commonwealth.

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    Join the army air service. Be an American eagle!
    • Date
    • 1918
    • Creator
    • Bull, Charles Livingston, 1874-1932
    • Description
    • Image of American eagle fighting a large black German eagle, juxtaposed with a fleet of U.S. fighter planes. Caption below title reads, "Consult your local draft board. Read the illustrated booklet at any recruiting office, or write to the Chief Sign... more
      Image of American eagle fighting a large black German eagle, juxtaposed with a fleet of U.S. fighter planes. Caption below title reads, "Consult your local draft board. Read the illustrated booklet at any recruiting office, or write to the Chief Signal Officer of the Army, Washington, D.C. Apply to Air Service Trade Test Board, 755 Boylston St., Boston, Mass. Bull received his artistic training at the Philadelphia Art School. He was an expert on animal and bird anatomy, as well as on taxidermy, which earned him a position as Chief Taxidermist at the National Museum in Washington, D.C. less
    • Rights
    • No known copyright restrictions. No known restrictions on use.
    • Partner
    • Digital Commonwealth
    • Contributing Institution
    • Boston Public Library

  • "Recruiting on the Boston Common," 1917. Courtesy of the Boston Public Library, Leslie Jones Collection via Digital Commonwealth.

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    Recruiting on the Boston Common
    • Date
    • 1917
    • Creator
    • Jones, Leslie, 1886-1967
    • Description
    • Title and date from information provided by Leslie Jones or the Boston Public Library on the negative or negative sleeve.
    • Rights
    • Copyright (c) Leslie Jones. All rights reserved.
    • Partner
    • Digital Commonwealth
    • Contributing Institution
    • Boston Public Library

To encourage those who had little or no military experience, the United States government marketed the draft with an enlistment campaign that made use of visual propaganda. Posters and other advertisements promised enlistees the opportunity to learn new life skills through education, such as repairing machinery and the less broadly applicable art of flying. The images, with their sinewy, all-American figures and heroic scenes, were intended to spark the viewer’s patriotic spirit.

Temporary recruitment offices were set up in public places throughout the country, including one on the Common in Boston, Massachusetts.