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WW I Patriotic & Propaganda Postcards

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world war I nerd

This offering is from a twelve card series titled, "Comical Soldiers".



This postcard with no postmark and no date is another one of my favorite designs.



This postcard is the partner to a similar "Jolly Tar" card that was posted earlier.



Despite bearing a 1923 postmark, this nautical postcard was manufactured during WW I.



This Japanese postcard commemorates the first official U.S. Navy visit to Japan in 1908.



Another Japanese postcard, printed by that nation's Department of Communication, trumpets the historical arrival of the American fleet in 1908.



Postcard designer Archie Gunn, seems to have been the master of the WW I "soldier romance" genre postcard.



The artwork on this 1917 postmarked "soldier romance" card, designed by an unknown artist, appears to be an attempt to emulate the style of Archie Gunn … Or perhaps it was the other way around?



Not sure whether or not if this postcard is merely anticipating a swift victory over the Central Powers or actually celebrating the end of hostilities.



1918 postmarked postcard trying to cleverly work a military term, such as "load", into the card's caption.


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The drawing on this 1920 copyrighted postcard is a sketch titled "Bit of Yank". If you look closely, you'll se that the image is of a soldier whose right arm has been amputated. The caption on the back states that the bust was sculpted in the Walter Reed Hospital vocational school by a wounded 27th Division Doughboy. In addition, castings of the sculpture available for sale for $2.50 each. Although the card doesn't mention the artist's name, the postcard was copyrighted to, and the castings were sold by, a person named J.S. Stephens … Perhaps he was the wounded Doughboy and the artist.


Has anybody ever seen one of these castings?


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A card speculating on how the victorious Doughboys might interact with the vanquished German population.



French made postcard featuring the now, somewhat common theme of a young Sammy and what must be a youthful Marianne.



This series of postcards, in which there are twelve designs, is titled, "War Nurses".



Last card of this installment ...


I think this is the fifth card (out of six) that I've posted so far in the "Proverbes Americains" (American Proverbs) series designed by Xavier Sanger. This example is titled, "Le silence est d'or", which translates into, "Silence is of gold". I'm not familiar with that particular American proverb, but I have heard the proverb, "Silence is golden", which is what I think the card's designer was shooting for.


More cards next weekend ...


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I agree Mikie, the array of WW I era patriotic postcards is truly astonishing. Currently, I think I'm approaching somewhere in the neighborhood of 400 different cards!


Printed on the back of at least fifteen of those cards, is a line stating that it is one of twelve designs in the "sailor comic", or "to my soldier boy", or "war message", or "soldier pennants", or "war nurses", etc. series. Given that I have, on average, maybe three or four card from any one of those series, there's more that I don't have than I have.


U.S. themed patriotic postcards were also printed in the United Kingdom, France, Belgium, Australia & Japan, and those are the only Allied countries that I'm aware of at the moment. Currently, I have only one anti-US postcard that was printed in Germany during the war, but I'm certain that there were more. Quite a few postcards were also printed in Germany after the Armistice was signed for the American Army of Occupation as well.


Just about every week anywhere from three to a dozen or so postcards that I've never seen before turn up on eBay alone.


My guess is that all of the cards posted above are just the tip of the iceberg.

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The next three postcards, strictly speaking, do not really fall under the umbrella of "patriotic or propaganda" postcards. But in a way, they also do not exactly fit into the "real picture postcard" category either. The do, however, fit very nicely into the "that's kind of cool" or "that's real neat" pigeon hole … Therefore, for no particular reason, I decided to post them here.


The overtly patriotic backdrop on which this soldier's cameo has been pasted is copyrighted 1907. The service coat with two collar discs on each side of the collar worn by the soldier was not adopted until 1909. Collar discs did not go in to army-wide circulation until 1910, so I'm guessing that this photo was taken between 1911 and 1916 during the border trouble along the Mexican border..



Close up of the cameo photo. Too bad it's not entirely clear what the branch of service collar disk is. The U.S. collar disc is clearly discernable though. He also appears to be wearing a 1902 pattern Campaign Hat. That model was the only Army issued campaign hat whose outer brim was folded under and stitched.


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An interesting sketch of an unnamed officer in AEF's medical Department, signed by an artist named Harold Wolcott. Written in pencil on the reverse is: "Beauval Somme France Sept. 1918."


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This image on this German made postcard must be the 1919 version of a Photoshopped, unnamed 42nd Division Doughboy's portrait.


I've never seen another hand retouched WW I photograph like this one before … What about you?


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Now back to our regularly scheduled programming, which is actual WW I era patriotic and propaganda postcards ...


Postcard warning German U-boats to "take care".



A fine example of a Charles Twelvetrees drawn postcard from the child soldier series of postcards.



Yet another 1918 postmarked pennant postcard. This one labeled "Saginaw". The reverse of the example states that there are 24 cards in this "soldier Pennants" series.



This "United States" postcards is one of 12 "U.S. and Her Allies" postcards.



Copyrighted in 1918, this postcard is an artist's fanciful notion of the type of overly heroic deeds "One of our boys" was accomplishing Over There.



This is one of four Chesterfield cigarette advertising cards designed by the great advertising illustrator J.C. Leyendecker.


This one obviously features a U.S. Marine. The other three designs depicted a soldier, an aviator and a sailor.


The message dated March 20, 1919 on the back of this unposted card was written by "your brother D." at Camp Gordon in Georgia.



Continuing with the "fag" (English slang), "gasper" (Australian slang) and "tailor made" (AEF slang for a manufactured cigarette) theme is this 1910 postmarked and hand colored smoking/daydream card. The card is printed with a 1909 copyright date.


If this one looks familiar, that's because an uncolored version of this same design appears in post no. 207, on page 09 of this topic. I have no idea if this postcard was hand colored in mass or if this is a "one off" that was hand painted by its sender - a man known only as "Will".


That's it for this weeks collection of cards, as always … more to come.


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Congratulations. Your article has now been pinned in the World War I section. Long overdue considering the amount of work you have put into this. Thank you for such an extensive thread!

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Another postcard interpretation of the flags of the Allied nations. This particular card is postmarked 1918.



Pre-WW I patriotic postcard, designed by Wallace Robinson, proclaiming America's military readiness, should the U.S.A enter the fray.



"Greetings From Camp", one of twelve designs in the "War Correspondence" series.



Yet another French made postcard depicting 'Marianne' and 'Sammy'.



Although I don't know who "CH.", the designer of this series of postcards, is, I'm pretty sure that he was a member of the AEF. So far, all of the cards in this series seem to depict post-Armistice life in the AEF, while the majority of Doughboys were waiting to sail home.



1918 postmarked card showing a patriotic youngster desiring to enlist in the Army.



An earlier Uncle Sam postcard (1907) heralding America's readiness for war.



The message on the reverse of this November 13, 1918 postmarked postcard designed by Archie Gunn, states that "the war is all over".



Military terminology double entendre postcard, postmarked 1918.



Last card of the week ...


Not only is this the last card of the week, it's also the last card in the French postcard series titled, "The Sammies in Paris. All of which were designed by the artist Jean Jam.


I'll post more cards in the not too distant future. Thanks again for looking.


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1921 dated French postcard commemorating the sacrifice American Doughboys made to help end WW I.


The French caption translates to: "Cemetery Summit - Part of the Monumental Organization".



A comic rendition of a Doughboy's jubilent reaction after recieving his discharge papers.



In this French postcard, a 'Piolu' introduces the New Year (not sure if it's 1918 or 1919) to a Russian, British and American soldier.


The caption reads: "Here is the new year: We name her Victoria!



'Black Jack' Pershing, the Commander in Chief of the AEF as painted by the postcard designer Bernhardt Wall.



A comical interpretation of how the average infantryman's load feels before, and after a routine hike.



I guess if the politically incorrect term of "fat-shaming" was around 100 or so years ago, this child-soldier postcard, designed by Charles Twelvetrees, might be a perfect example.



33rd Infantry Division postcard printed by the Chicago YMCA War Service.



Not sure how many cards make up this series composed of Female Navy personnel, but "Miss Lieutenant" here is the third I've encountered so far. "Miss Admiral" was posted earlier in the topic, and the third example will end this day's batch O' cards.



"The Daily Attack" from a twelve design series titled "Sailor Comics".



"The Girl Behind the Gun" is the last card for this go around.


I'll be posting more cards in a week ...


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This pre-WW I postcard is part of a series comprised of an unknown number of cards. So far I've seen only three, two of which I now have ... This "Makings of a great soldier" is the first of the two.



Another reminder to keep those cards and letters coming in to friends and family who became soldiers.



A French made postcard proclaiming "I don't forget you".



A card from "the hometown" series in which the location is printed seperatelyinside the pennant. In this particular case it happens to be Wiggins, Mississippi.



Another patriotic WW I era postcard that pays homage to President Woodrow Wilson



A rather fanciful interpretation of U.S. sailors chasing German battleships in the North Sea.



"Brothers in Arms", a French made, 1919 postmarked postcard.



I just recently picked up six cards in this 'A.E.F. Overseas Series', published by AEF Buck Private Marshall Semmelman. I've no idea how many cards make up the whole set.



A tinted and 1917 postmarked, " Private U.S. Infantry" photo with added patriotic graphics.



This ode to the artillery is the last addition for today.


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1918 postmarked Allied Flags: "To Make the World Safe for Democracy".



Normally I don't go for silk postcards of this nature, but I couldn't pass up the nicely done American flag and General Pershing cameo on this French made example.



1917 postmarked U.S. & French flag themed card.



A very nice French made "Souvenir de Victory" postcards with applied miniature U.S and French flags.



Another postcard appeal for a letter. This one bearing an image of Uncle Sam surrounded by a winged wreath.



French made postcard depicting an American Doughboy, and what I presume to be French children, titled, "The Great Friend".



One of 24 different "Soldier Pennants" designs. This one is imprinted with Wylie, Texas.



I purchased about ten or so "duty versus romance" themed postcards that were all designed by the same unnamed artist. This is either the second (or the third), I've posted so far. This particular card was mailed from Battle Creek, Michigan in 1918, by Ted to "Elanor".


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This is the second of four Chesterfield cigarette advertisement postcards designed by the artist/illustrator J.C. Leyandecker. This one displays an American military aviator sparking up a Chesterfield. This card is postmarked 1919.


The other example I previously posted in this thread depicted a U.S. Marine. The remaining two cards (that I'm aware of) depict a soldier and a sailor, both of whom, are also lighting up their smokes.


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Last card for this week. For those of you who are not tired of looking at them, there are still more to come ...


I finally picked up the four missing links in the USMC recruiting poster series that was printed in either 1917 or 1918, or possibly in both years. Anyway, here is the first one of the, until now, missing USMC postcards.


Thanks for continuing to look at this ever growing thread.


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Okay, I'll keep on posting ...


Another card in the USMC recruiting poster series that were published in 1917 and possibly in 1918.



There are several series of both Army and Navy postcards that were designed, printed, and presumably marketed and sold by serving soldiers and sailors.


This independently published Navy "Liberty Party" postcard designed by "Watson" is one of them.



1915 postmarked naval postcard.



1903 dated card dedicated to America's "Great White Fleet".



One of the perils of Navy life for new sailors was apparently becoming accustomed to sleeping in a swaying hammock. This card bears a 1918 postmark.


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Nothing but fun while training in Buffalo, New York.



I never knew that "Taps" had anything to do with bayonet drill.



More patriotic rhyming verse of dubious quality.



Italian postcard heralding Uncle Sam's entry in the Great War.



Last card for this week ... yes, ther's still more to come.


Lots of red, white and blue in this "Stand by Our President" postcard.


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Kfields, thanks for the addition. Patriotic Uncle Sam postcards have been, and remain to be, popular. Although it's unsigned, I believe that that particular card was designed by Bernhardt Wall.


Now for this weeks additions from me ...


1917 postmarked, "Let 'Em All Come" sailor and flag postcard.



A nicely done French made, 1919 dated WW I Victory postcard,



WW I era soldier in uniform telephoning his sweetie.



Another take on the WW I American soldier phoning his best girl. This card is postmarked 1917 and sent from Camp Custer in Michigan



So a WW I U.S. Navy "spar specialist" is a pugilist, i.e. a boxer. Learn something new everyday. Due to the poor imprint, I can't tell if the postmark on this card is 1917 or 1918.



"Six Union Jacks" - in the form of three flags and three sailors from the nations of England, United States and France (postmarked 1918)



This card reaches all the way across the Atlantic Ocean all the way over to an American soldier serving in the trenches of France or Flanders.



Is it the low price, good food or the pretty cashier that draws training soldiers to this one eatery situated somewhere "along canteen row"?



American soldiers marching between the Statue of Liberty and a nautically clad maiden waving the "Flag of Freedom".



Last card of this go-around ...


A 1917 postmarked, and somewhat gnawed on postcard bearing three canines of the pit bull and bull dog variety - a French Bull, an American 'Bull', and an English 'Bull'.



Hard to believe, but we still haven't run out of WW I era patriotic postcards. So their will be more coming next week ...


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Just wondering if you knew what you were getting into when you started this tread. Looks like It could be a life's work documenting these things!

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When I started this, I had no idea how many different U.S.A. themed postcards were printed during the WW I era. So far, it's way more than I ever thought it would be! The diversity of subject matter continues to astonish me. Oh well, in for a penny, in for a pound ... I guess.


French made card depicting some of the Allied nations' civil and military leaders and their flags.



I'm not entirely sure of the date of this card, but I'm pretty sure it predates WW I. It's the first postcard I've seen in this style from a series titled, "Fun in the Navy Series-No.4" This particular card is captioned: "The Chaplain umpires the fleet championship game." I'd like to see more from this series as the graphics are good.



Norman Rockwell cover art from the November 27, 1917 issue of "Life" magazine repurposed as a WW I postcard, circa 1918 or 1919.


The expression on the little French girl's face is perfect. It looks as if she's listening to a talking baboon, err, I mean a Yank butchering the French language. He's probably asking, "does your mother has any eggs to sell?" She probably hears something like, "Your mother is a hamster."



The American version of an anti-Kaiser propaganda postcard.


Apparently, "hock" means to disable by cutting the ankle tendons in the hind leg of a pig, or other quadruped.



Italian postcard featuring a portrait of the Commander in Chief of the A.E.F., aka General 'Blackjack' Pershing.



German made postwar postcard showing US troops of the Army of Occupation brandishing bars of chocolate. The chocolate is probably an American Hershey Bar.



This is an English made postcard, whose caption I don't quite understand. The leering Yank's expression seems to imply that his moral fiber, in respect to the chastity of English women, just might be lacking.


Can anybody precisely decipher this postcard's caption?



A comic version of the "side door pullman", or the "40 and 8", as the diminutive French boxcars in which so many Doughboys traveled across France in were nicknamed.



Another one of the gazillion WW I era patriotic, and overly sentimental, postcards designed by Archie Gunn.



A somewhat battered 1917 postmarked, patriotic postcard bearing an all red, white and blue (with black) motif.


Once again, that's the last card for this installment ... yes, there's even more postcards circling the airport waiting for clearance to land.


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