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US careless talk poster of a soldier warning people to guard their words

Object | Accession Number: 1988.42.6

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    US careless talk poster of a soldier warning people to guard their words


    Brief Narrative
    US careless talk poster featuring a helmeted soldier with rifle, in combat, to remind people that their careless talk on the home front could put him in danger on the battlefield. The careless talk series of US propaganda posters was an Army Services project, distributed by the Office of War Information. The need to manage the war on the Home Front led to the establishment of the OWI in June 1942. This office controlled the design and distribution of war information to the American public in posters, photographs, radio shows, and films. They commissioned work from leading artists such as Jes Schlaikjer, who painted this image. In 1942, Schlaikjer became the official Artist of the US War Department. The careless talk series originated in 1940 in Great Britain. It highlighted the many ways that careless talk could leak sensitive information that our enemies would use to kill soldiers, sink ships, and undermine the war effort.
    Artwork Title
    The Battle-wise careful of what he says or writes... How about You?
    Series Title
    Avoid Careless Talk
    publication/distribution:  1944
    publication: Washington (D.C.)
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of David and Zelda Silberman
    front, top, white on green : The battle-wise / Infantryman...
    front, bottom,white on red : CAREFUL / of what he says or writes / HOW ABOUT YOU?
    front, white : SCHLAIKJER 1944
    front, bottom left corner, black ink : ✩ U.S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE: 1944-O-602442
    front, bottom right corner, black ink : DISTRIBUTED FOR THE ISSUING AGENCY BY O.W.I.
    back, top right, black ink : WAR DEPARTMENT / WASHINGTON 25, D.C. / Notice to Postmaster: If not delivered return to / 333 West Lake St., Chicago, Ill.
    back, top right, black ink : PENALTY FOR PRIVATE USE / TO AVOID PAYMENT OF POSTAGE / $300 / Phillip Baller / OFF -- 13
    Artist: Jes W. Schlaikjer
    Issuer: Adjutant-General's Office, United States, Army Service Forces
    Printer: United States Government Printing Office
    Distributor: United States Office of War Information
    The United States Office of War Information (OWI) was created on June 13, 1942, to centralize and control the content and production of government information and propaganda about the war. It coordinated the release of war news for domestic use, and using posters along with radio broadcasts, worked to promote patriotism, warn about foreign spies, and recruit women into war work. The office also established an overseas branch, which launched a large-scale information and propaganda campaign abroad. The government appealed to the public through popular culture and more than a quarter of a billion dollars' worth of advertising was donated during the first three years of the National Defense Savings Program. Victory in Europe was declared on May 8, 1945, and in Japan on September 2, 1945. The OWI ceased operation in September.

    Physical Details

    War propaganda
    Physical Description
    Offset color lithographic poster with a realistic portrait painting of the face and shoulders of a combat ready soldier, with helmet and upright rifle with bayonet, looking toward the viewer with a battle hardened expression against a dark green background. The poster slogan is written across the top of the image and in a red box below. The artist's name, Schlaikjer, is printed within the image. On the back is printed postal information and the address of the recipient.
    overall: Height: 27.500 inches (69.85 cm) | Width: 19.500 inches (49.53 cm)
    overall : paper, ink

    Rights & Restrictions

    Conditions on Access
    No restrictions on access
    Conditions on Use
    No restrictions on use

    Keywords & Subjects

    Administrative Notes

    The poster was donated to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 1988 by David and Zelda Silberman.
    Funding Note
    The cataloging of this artifact has been supported by a grant from the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany.
    Record last modified:
    2022-07-28 18:29:29
    This page:

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