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US careless talk poster with a smiling sailor ready to sail

Object | Accession Number: 1988.42.28

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    US careless talk poster with a smiling sailor ready to sail


    Brief Narrative
    US careless talk poster featuring an American sailor in blue uniform and white Dixie cap as a smiling reminder of the life you put at risk with loose talk on the home front. This poster was drawn by John Falter, an established illustrator and also an enlisted man who designed over 300 posters for the government. 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 all media and commissioned work from leading artists of the period. 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
    If you tell where he’s going... He may never get there!
    Series Title
    Avoid Careless Talk
    publication/distribution:  1943
    publication: Washington (D.C.)
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of David and Zelda Silberman
    front, bottom, white on red : If you tell where / he’s going … / He may never / get there!
    front, bottom edge center, black ink : ✩ U.S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE: 1943 - O - 556153
    front, bottom right corner, black ink : Distributed for the Issuing Agency / by the Office of War Information
    Illustrator: John P. Falter
    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 lithograph poster with an image of a detailed portrait painting of a man in a sailor's navy blue service uniform with striped back flap and stars ands white cap. He is seen from behind and looks back over his right shoulder at the viewer with a broad, toothy grin. He carries a large, roped, white sea duffel over his left shoulder. The background is white and there is a bright red panel with the slogan in white near the bottom. The artist's name, John Falter USNR, is printed within the duffel.
    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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