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US propaganda poster showing careless talk is more dangerous than a rattlesnake

Object | Accession Number: 1988.42.26

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    US propaganda poster showing careless talk is more dangerous than a rattlesnake

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    Brief Narrative
    US careless talk poster with an image of a coiled rattlesnake with blood dripping fangs warning people that sharing war related information was even more dangerous than this snake. The careless talk series of US propaganda posters was an Army Services project, distributed by the Office of War Information, which was created in June 1942 to manage the war on the Home Front. The OWI controlled the design and distribution of war information to the American public in all formats. The goal was to place posters in street level windows of every business in every town across the United States. Posters were exchanged every two weeks, and artwork was commissioned from leading artists. The careless talk series originated in 1940 in Great Britan. 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
    Less Dangerous Than Careless Talk : don't discuss troop movements, ship sailings, war equipment
    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, black ink : LESS DANGEROUS
    front, bottom left corner, black ink : ✩ U.S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE: 1944 - O - 603532
    front, bottom right corner, black ink : DISTRIBUTED FOR THE ISSUING AGENCIES BY O.W.I.
    back, right, black ink : WAR DEPARTMENT / WASHINGTON 25, D. C. / OFFICIAL BUSINESS / Notice to Postmaster: If not delivered return to / 333 West Lake St., Chicago, Ill.
    back, right, black ink : PENALTY FOR PRVIATE USE / TO AVOID PAYMENT OF POSTAGE / $300 / Philip Baller,
    back, left, black ink : LESS DANGEROUS / THAN CARELESS TALK / Al Dorne, who is responsible for this star- / tling anti-loose-talk poster, has a list of commercial / clients that reads like a “who’s who” of national / advertisers. / A former professional boxer, the demand for / his magnificent drawings always exceeds his ability / to supply . . . even though he is capable of work- / ing 48 hours at a stretch. / Mr. Dorne is one of that extremely small / group of naturally gifted artists who is entirely / self-taught. In fact, his first experience in an art / school occurred recently when he was invited in / as a teacher! / This is a symbolic poster and represents a / sharp “change-in-pace” for this important campaign. / Its prominent display will be appreciated.
    Illustrator: Albert Dorne
    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 lithograph poster with an illustration of a coiled, brown and orange diamond patterned rattlesnake with the head raised, ready to strike with a wide open mouth with bared fangs dripping blood that puddles near its coils. The illustrator's name, Al Dorne, is printed within the image. The poster was made to fold into eighths for mailing and has printed postal information on the back.
    overall: Height: 28.000 inches (71.12 cm) | Width: 20.000 inches (50.8 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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