Original design for "Liberty Bound or Liberty
Bond? U Can Change It"
By James Hart, ca. 1917-18
Ink over pencil on paper
26" x 16 1/2"
National Archives and Records Administration, Still Picture Branch, Records
of the Bureau of Public Debt
World War I Posters:Liberty Bound or Liberty Bond? When the United States entered World War I in April
1917, the Federal Government was faced with the monumental task of mobilizing
American society. Early in the war, President Woodrow Wilson appointed
a Committee on Public Information headed by journalist George Creel to
lead the propaganda effort. One way for the government to get out its
message was the poster. Noted artists volunteered their time and talents
to the committee and designed posters urging enlistment in the armed forces,
conservation, industrial mobilization, subscriptions to Liberty Loans,
and other patriotic duties. James Hart's design for "Liberty Bound or
Liberty Bond" is typical of many World War I posters. It aimed to stir
patriotism and raise contributions to wartime loan drives by frightening
Americans with a vision of what defeat would mean.