WWI Shipbuilding

September 20, 2014 § Leave a comment

Lie, Jonas. 1918. Original Stone Lithograph.

“On the Job for Victory,” Lie, Jonas. 1918. Original Stone Lithograph.

From 1914 to 1917, the United States, as neutral power, stood to profit from shipping goods to all European belligerents. “America’s trade with the Allies was fast becoming the mainstay of the American economy” * After the US declaration of war in April of 1917, the government’s mobilization of American land, labor and money produced a tremendous fleet of ships and expanded shipyards virtually overnight.

 

To rebuild the country’s once proud merchant fleet (while the belligerents were too busy to compete) President Wilson signed the Shipping Act into law with a working capital of fifty million dollars. The Shipping Board was authorized to purchase, charter, requisition and operate a commercial fleet. The Act also established the Emergency Fleet Corporation, responsible for new construction. Steel magnate Charles M. Schwab, who designed a ship that could be mass-produced, using common items of bridge and structural steel, headed the EFC. The EFC’s goal was to launch 100 ships per day. By July 4th of 1918, less than 15 months later, the EFC was able to launch 95 ships per day.

 

Over the course of the war, 50,000 Americans went to work in the shipyards. By the end of the war, the shipping board commanded 2,600 vessels and was almost 60 % larger than it’s pre-war size. Critics argue that business interests led to a far greater expansion then what was really needed.

 

This post was written by Elizabeth Norris, Owner of Vintage European Posters

Our Shop is Open Tuesdays-Thursdays from 11-5 and select weekends.
2201 Fourth Street, Berkeley Corner of Allston Way

Please call 510 843 2201 or email vintage posters@vepca.com to confirm hours.

Visit our collection on the web at vepca.com

Recruiting Posters in World War I

September 16, 2014 § Leave a comment

Roberts, Hazel, c. 1915, Original Stone Lithograph, Very Fine Condition.

Roberts, Hazel, c. 1915, Original Stone Lithograph, Very Fine Condition.

When war broke out in Europe in 1914, Americans referred to the conflict overseas as “the European Struggle,” in other words, not “our” war. We were happy to provide food, munitions, and to lend money, but saw no reason to join in battle. President Woodrow Wilson’s stance was strongly anti-war, and he spoke of the U.S. position as a moral decision to remain “too proud to fight.” He was reelected in 1916 on a platform that included “He kept us out of the war.”

Circumstances changed; the sinking of the Lusitania in 1915, then Germany’s return to unrestricted submarine warfare in 1917 contributed the President’s about face. Our military force was quite small at the beginning of the war, with fewer than 200,000 members in the active duty and reserve forces. Wilson urged men to sign up for service, but this only increased our numbers to 300,000 in 1917. Therefore Wilson signed the selective service act and instituted a draft. Recruiting posters show how the government appealed to the populace to join. The campaign was effective, and by the summer of 1918, the US was sending 10,000 troops per day to fight in Europe, and by the end of the war, our forces numbered 2 million.

 

This post was written by Elizabeth Norris, proprietor of Vintage European Posters

Our Shop is Open Tuesdays-Thursdays from 11-5 and select weekends.
2201 Fourth Street, Berkeley Corner of Allston Way

Please call 510 843 2201 or email vintage posters@vepca.com to confirm hours.

Visit our collection on the web at vepca.com

August 27th, 1916: Italy Declares War on Germany

August 27, 2014 § Leave a comment

August 27th, 1916: Almost one hundred years ago today, Italy declared war on Germany despite its policy of neutrality during World War One. In 1915, a year before this declaration of war, Italy agreed to the terms of the Treaty of London which secured large tracts of land to Italy. The Triple Entente (Britain, France, and Russia) wanted to weaken the Central Powers (Germany, Austria-Hungary, Ottoman Empire, and Bulgaria) by opening up a southern front and they believed the Treaty of London would persuade Italy to fight on their side. They were correct with this prediction.

Unfortunately, Italy didn’t exactly achieve a great military success. Italy, weary after the victorious Italo-Turkish War of 1911, entered WWI a mere five years later and suffered a crippling defeat at Caporetto against an Austro-Hungarian army, losing 300,00 men. On top of this humiliation, Italy was snubbed at the conclusion of the war with the Treaty of Versailles and its exclusive negotiations.

Orth, "Banco di Roma," 1920. 46 x 31. Very Fine Condition.

Orth, “Banco di Roma,” 1920. 46 x 31. Very Fine Condition.

Above is Orth’s “Banco di Roma,” a poster encouraging Italians to subscribe to the 1920 National French Treasury Loan. The female on the right is Marianne, a national symbol of the French Republic, signifying liberty and reason. She reaches towards the Colosseum, showing the political alliance of France and Italy. The text beneath her translates to “It is the ashes of death which creates the homeland.” This quote is by the French poet and politician Alphonse Lamartine, who helped found the French Second Republic and was known as a spokesman of the working class. In an effort to pay for war debt and rebuild Europe, Orth sends a message of rebirth after destruction and the power of collaboration.

 

Check out our upcoming show titled “A Call to Action; Posters of the First World War” which includes over 100 original World War I propaganda posters. The Show will run from September 13- September  23rd at our gallery at 2201 Fourth Street, in Berkeley, CA.

This post was written by Nicole Garson, Intern, UCB class of 2016 and edited by Elizabeth Norris, Proprietor of Vintage European Posters

Our Shop is Open Tuesdays-Thursdays from 11-5 and select weekends.
2201 Fourth Street, Berkeley Corner of Allston Way

Please call 510 843 2201 or email vintage posters@vepca.com to confirm hours.

Visit our collection on the web at vepca.com

The Centennial of the Declaration of the United States’ Neutrality

August 19, 2014 § Leave a comment

August 19th: One hundred years ago today, President Woodrow Wilson announced the United State would remain neutral in World War One, yet nearly three years later this fact would not hold true.

"Join! The Greatest Mother," Lawrence Wilbur, Fine Condition.

“Join! The Greatest Mother,” Lawrence Wilbur, Fine Condition.

Tensions arose between the United States and Germany in 1917, two and a half years after the United States’ declared neutrality. Trade was interrupted with America’s close economic partner, Britain, as Germany began to sink ships entering in the war zone near the Britain. When Germany declared unrestricted warfare against all ships in this zone, and the Lusitania passenger-carrying boat was sunk by Germany (which defiled international law), America’s involvement in the war was imminent as public opinion towards Germany turned from neutral to sour. In a desire to ensure international peace, Wilson asked congress to declare a war “to end all wars.”

In the poster “Join! The Greatest Mother,” the American Red Cross is personified by a pleading nurse who gazes down at a globe. Wilbur’s message could be interpreted as the responsibility of world peace and the deliverance of aid rests on the United States’ shoulders as they are the last driving force to end the war.

Check out our upcoming show titled “A Call to Action; Posters of the First World War” which includes over 100 original World War I propaganda posters. The Show will run from September 13- September  23rd at our gallery at 2201 Fourth Street, in Berkeley, CA.

This post was written by Nicole Garson, Intern, UCB class of 2016 and Elizabeth Norris, Proprietor of Vintage European Posters

Our Shop is Open Tuesdays-Thursdays from 11-5 and select weekends.
2201 Fourth Street, Berkeley Corner of Allston Way

Please call 510 843 2201 or email vintage posters@vepca.com to confirm hours.

Visit our collection on the web at vepca.com

 

World War One and Trench Warfare; the Centennial of The Battles of Frontiers

August 7, 2014 § 1 Comment

August 7th: One hundred years ago today, The Battle of Frontiers began between France and Germany, characterized by the trench warfare and stalemate of World War I.

"Souscrivez pour la Victoire," M. Richard Butz, 1916. Fine Condition.

“Souscrivez pour la Victoire,” M. Richard Butz, 1916. Fine Condition.

The Battles of the Frontiers was a series of battles held on the Western Front during WWI, beginning with the Battle of Liège on August 4th, 1914. These battles kicked off the characteristic stalemate and deadly trench warfare of the First World War. The German armies followed the meticulously drawn up Schlieffen Plan which called for a quick defeat of French forces in the West just in time to move to the East to defeat Russian forces. The great miscalculation was the amount of time it would take to defeat France; Germany also underestimated how long it would take Russia to mobilize their forces (Russia took a mere 10 days to mobilize rather than six weeks). As a result, Germany was forced to diffuse their armies and fight two fronts at the same time. Germany’s failure in a quick defeat against France resulted in the building of trenches, creating a war of attrition where attacks with improved weaponry caused an immense loss of life.

In this French poster calling for French citizens to purchase war bonds, a winged women symbolizing Victory with the French flag flies over a sea of dead German soldiers. Following the winged figure is a sea of soldiers carrying the numerous flags of the Allies.

 

To see more posters like the one pictured above, check out our upcoming show titled “A Call to Action; Posters of the First World War” which includes over 100 original World War I propaganda posters. The Show will run from September 13- September  23rd at our gallery at 2201 Fourth Street, in Berkeley, CA.  

 

This post was written by Nicole Garson, Intern, UCB class of 2016 and Elizabeth Norris, Proprietor of Vintage European Posters

Our Shop is Open Tuesdays-Thursdays from 11-5 and select weekends.
2201 Fourth Street, Berkeley Corner of Allston Way

Please call 510 843 2201 or email vintage posters@vepca.com to confirm hours.

Visit our collection on the web at vepca.com

The Centennial of the UK’s entrance into World War One

August 4, 2014 § Leave a comment

August 4th: One hundred years ago today, after Germany broke Belgium’s neutrality, the United Kingdom was forced to join World War I by declaring war on Germany.

"Women of Britain Joan of Arc Saved France" Bert Thomas, c. 1918. Fine Condition.

“Women of Britain Joan of Arc Saved France” Bert Thomas, c. 1918. Fine Condition.

The United Kingdom, a foundational force for the Allied Powers during World War I, declared war on Germany on August 4th, 1914 in response to Germany’s violation of the Treaty of London (1839) which guaranteed the protection of Belgium’s neutrality. The German chancellor at the time supposedly exlaimed his disbelief over how a war between Germany and the United Kingdom could be started over this “scrap of paper.” Bert Thomas, the artist of the image pictured above, was famous for his British wartime propaganda posters; in this case, the poster was meant to encourage civilians, namely female civilians, to purchase war bonds in support of the war against Germany. The symbolism behind this image is complex; his reference to Joan of Arc and an image of a female soldier suggest a few ideas about his methods for persuading the public. Referencing a religious icon of their ally’s history creates the notion that supporting Britain through war bonds is a religious duty and women, too, like the female soldier waving a sword, can heroically contribute in a time where women’s contribution to society was limited to their expected roles.

 

Check out our upcoming show titled “A Call to Action; Posters of the First World War” which includes over 100 original World War I propaganda posters. The Show will run from September 13- September  23rd at our gallery at 2201 Fourth Street, in Berkeley, CA.  

 

This post was written by Nicole Garson, Intern, UCB class of 2016 and Elizabeth Norris, Proprietor of Vintage European Posters

Our Shop is Open Tuesdays-Thursdays from 11-5 and select weekends.
2201 Fourth Street, Berkeley Corner of Allston Way

Please call 510 843 2201 or email vintage posters@vepca.com to confirm hours.

Visit our collection on the web at vepca.com

“Keep These Off the USA:” The 100th Anniversary of Germany’s entrance into World War One

August 2, 2014 § Leave a comment

August 1st: One hundred years ago, Germany declared war on Russia, prompting Germany and the Ottoman Empire to sign a secret alliance treaty, escalating the tensions of World War One.

Norton, Keep These off the USA, Printed 1918

Norton, Keep These off the USA, Printed 1918

Norton’s “Keep These off the USA,” shows the bloodied boots of the German enemy as a threat to American citizens, and urges them to contribute to the war effort through the purchase of government bonds, called ‘Liberty Bonds’.

Advertising posters all have an imperative. They are a call to action for the viewer- saying ‘go buy this product’ nowhere is this imperative more visible than in propaganda posters such as this one.

Norton’s poster is one among many of the World War One Posters featured at our upcoming show titled “A Call to Action; Posters of the First World War” from September 13th through the 24th at our Showroom at 2201 4th Street in Berkeley, California.

Our collection of World War One posters is up to date and visible on our website.

 

This post was written by Nicole Garson, Intern, UCB class of 2016  and Elizabeth Norris, Proprietor of Vintage European Posters

Our Shop is Open Tuesdays-Thursdays from 11-5 and select weekends.
2201 Fourth Street, Berkeley Corner of Allston Way

Please call 510 843 2201 or email vintage posters@vepca.com to confirm hours.

Visit our collection on the web at vepca.com