World War I Poster - Lend Your Strength
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In this World War I poster, a strong man wearing a red tanktop carries a large cement block with the YMCA emblem carved in its side. Behind him stands an older man in a military uniform, and beyond them both is a wall with the word "WORKERS" carved into its face. In front of the worker and behind a cloud of smoke is the silhouette of a soldier holding a bayonet. Beneath the image are the words "Lend Your Strength to the Red Triangle," "Help the 'Y' Help the Fighters Fight," and "United War Work Campaign - November 11 to 18." At the request of the Commissions on Training Camp Activities, the Playground and Recreation Association of America formed the United War Work Campaign, bringing together seven organizations: the Y.M.C.A., the Y.W.C.A., the American Library Association, the War Camp Community Service, the Knights of Columbus, the Jewish Welfare Board, and the Salvation Army. They provided soldiers with access to movies, theaters, libraries and museums, swimming pools, gymnasiums, athletic fields, and clubs. As part of its humanitarian relief work during World War I, the Y.M.C.A. even owned forty-four factories in Europe dedicated to the production of cookies and candy for the troops. This poster was one of many produced by organizations in the United War Work Campaign to advertise their November 11 fundraiser, where they hoped to raise $350,000,000 (at the time, this goal was the most ambitious fundraising in American history). Although little is known about the illustrator, Gil Spear, his son Gil Spear Jr. was a well-known car stylist/designer who designed the distinctive front end on the 1939 Plymouth, 1939 Chrysler New Yorker, and 1940 Chrysler Saratoga. The top edge has signs of minor wear.
|Springfield College Archives and Special Collections|
|International Young Men's Christian Association|
World War, 1914-1918
World War I
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