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See the Rare Propaganda Posters of World War II

2 minute read

Though some wartime propaganda art has since become iconic, plenty of posters from the World War II era are rare, with few original examples having survived through the decades.

World War II Posters, a new book, brings to light some of those artifacts. The book features highlights from the more than 10,000 posters collected over the past 20 years by Delaware-based vintage poster dealer David Pollack, who started collecting these kinds of posters for fun to decorate his apartment while working as a photographer for various news outlets like TIME. (He covered student uprisings in South Korea for the magazine in the ’80s, among other topics.)

Buy War Bonds, 1942Courtesy of Schiffer Books

The above gallery features some of the rarest World War II posters out there, such as the one featuring Doris “Dorie” Miller. The Navy man, on the morning of the Pearl Harbor attacks of Dec. 7, 1941, helped carry his mortally wounded captain to safety, then aimed his machine gun at Japanese planes, blasting away until he ran out of ammunition. (He was played by Cuba Gooding Jr. in the 2001 feature film about the attacks on Pearl Harbor.) Another poster highlights the competition between the Army and Navy. Before the National Security Act of 1947 created the Air Force, the two branches competed for the best pilots for their respective air divisions.

And, more than 70 years after the end of the war, propaganda posters like these are more relevant than ever, Pollack argues: “Look at the Women’s March. What did you see? Posters! They’re always the most important of all of those marches. People still relate in a visceral sense to paper-printed posters.”

1944 US World War II Poster
He volunteered for Submarine Service. U.S. Government Printing Office, ca. 1944.Courtesy of Schiffer Publishing
1942 WWII poster
"Sub Spotted—Let 'Em Have It!" Ca. 1942.Courtesy of Schiffer Publishing
Canadian WWII war poster circa 1942.
To Victory, issue by the director of Public Information, under authority of Hon. J.T. Thorson, Minister of National War Services, Ottawa, Canada, ca. 1942.Courtesy of Schiffer Publishing
1943 US Navy poster featuring Dorie Miller.
"Above and Beyond the Call of Duty." OWI poster no. 68, U.S. Government Printing Office, 1943.Courtesy of Schiffer Publishing
U.S. Marines 1942 war poster.
Ready, Join U.S. Marines, Land Air Sea. 1942Courtesy of Schiffer Publishing
1944 WWII Army poster.
"The Greatest Team in the World, AFF, Armed Air Forces, 1944.Courtesy of Schiffer Publishing
1940 WWII poster from 1940 featuring Winston Churchill.
"Let Us Go Forward Together." WWII poster from London, England, ca. 1940.Courtesy of Schiffer Publishing
WWII Office of War Information poster, 1943.
"Americans will always fight for liberty." OWI poster no. 15, 1942.Courtesy of Schiffer Publishing

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Write to Olivia B. Waxman at olivia.waxman@time.com