American Legion WWII posters


27 Responses to “American Legion WWII posters”

  1. Neener says:

    #21, my father is freaking 85 here and my mother is 79. I’ve seen themm in photos from the 1940s and grew up with him railing against people who don’t wear hats, suits, etc. Not vests or spats, that was HIS father’s generation. I am not lecturing anyone and that person’s comment was ignorant, not wry, get your definitions straight.

    You want to see how people dress, go to shorpy. Here’s an average inner-city school in Washington, DC in 1941:

  2. Jason McIntosh says:

    Neener, you are obscure Marvel Comics supervillain Turner D. Century and I claim my five pounds.

  3. Marble River says:

    Wow, what great scans! I have a bunch of these originals that I got from an old factory in New Haven years ago, but there’s a lot here that I’ve never seen before. The Legion did a nice job on these.

  4. MarlboroTestMonkey7 says:

    Why do every man, be it photos or illustrations of those days, look as if they were sixty?

  5. spazzm says:

    What I want to know is how a guy looking like that scored a chick looking like her.

    Alcohol obviously played a role, but geez – beer goggles only go so far.

  6. Neener says:

    #3, why does every thirty year old man today prance around in dungarees and a t-shirt as if they’re 14?

  7. slywy says:

    Did affluent Manhattanites sucking down cocktails ’til all hours really do “workmanship”? That doesn’t look like Rosie the Riveter!

  8. shahryarrakeen says:

    It would be nice to retool the posters that encouraged conservation and sustainable production (ie victory gardens) as long as we do away with those that have racist caricatures.

  9. kip w says:

    Careless workmanship like, oh, crappy poster art and boring dialogue balloons with no real punctuation? That sort of thing?


    “You can’t fight the Axis if you have V.D.” In fact, we encourage anybody with VD to go fuck the Axis, as often as possible.

  10. MarlboroTestMonkey7 says:

    Well, Neener, that’s because we are “metro” ;)
    What i’m referring to is the physical apperance…

  11. Jonathan Badger says:

    Did affluent Manhattanites sucking down cocktails ’til all hours really do “workmanship”? That doesn’t look like Rosie the Riveter!

    Ah, but you don’t understand — shoddy investment banking kills troops too!

  12. Fooksie says:

    Wow. I guess that was back in the day when Americans wanted to win a war.
    Progress…go figure.

  13. Muscato says:

    Yeah, I have a feeling that Claude and Nina there weren’t exactly essential to the war effort. The next morning he had to be at the Century Club by lunchtime and she had to meet Mary Haines over at Sydney’s…

  14. drtwist says:

    #4: because collared shirts suck.

  15. Scuba SM says:


    Think for a moment…. they were created during war time…. What age groups were at the front? Which age groups were back home?

  16. semiotix says:

    @5: Actually, I can see a basic resemblance to Rosie the Riveter, now that you mention it.

    And it works, too. I start out almost every day saying to myself, “We Can Do It!” And by cocktail hour, I’m all, screw it, just like this Eveningwear Rosie is.

    Meanwhile my Japanese housemate chuckles evilly and plots to seize my outlying territories (the shady part of the garage).

  17. Jason McIntosh says:

    #3, as far as these particular posters go, I’d reckon it’s because most of the younger men were away fighting.

    I once saw a Batman serial from the WWII years, and they had to give a justification at the top of the reel as to why Bruce Wayne wasn’t overseas with a rifle like all his peers. (He managed to get classified as a 4-F drunken lout, of course…)

  18. DaveX says:

    I can’t believe nobody has pointed out the proto-lolspeak in:

  19. Neener says:

    #5, what you don’t get is that in the 1940s and 50s people who worked in factories were still brought up with manners and acted like they had manners. The people in that photo are by no mans affluent Manhattanites, they’re your average Joe and Jane Sixpack from an era where people didn’t wear baseball caps sideways on their heads.

  20. Neener says:

    #13, what about the Green Hornet whose Japanese sidekick Kato immediately became his Filipino sidekick Kato in January 1942?

  21. TharkLord says:

    God bless you Verna B. Grimm.

    I heartily propose her canonization as Saint Verna, Patron Saint of Compulsive Collectors.

    I lift a glass in her honor. (well, not right now, but as soon as I am off work…)

  22. Hmpf says:

    @#14: Finally, the link between LOLcats and Cats That Look Like Hitler revealed!

  23. eccentriffic says:

    The best war poster I ever saw was in a library book (yes, I was a librarian…). It said something along the lines of:

    “You can’t fight the Axis if you have VD!”

    DaveX: So true, haha!

  24. DWittSF says:

    I’m sure if the American Legion came out with these posters today, they’d tell teh People to shut up about the War and the Economy, put their heads down, and go to work.

  25. slywy says:

    #15, these people were brought up in the 10s and 20s if they were partying during WWII. My parents (born 1913 and 1919, dad a WWII veteran serving in England) didn’t dress anything like the people in the cartoon and didn’t party all night with cocktails in hand. John Cheever people did. Working people — the ones the poster seems to be aimed at — didn’t. (And my dad did wear an odd assortment of amusing hats, none of them baseball caps or fedoras.)

    Please don’t lecture people you don’t know. Especially when they’re making wry observations.

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