Tools of communication have transformed American society time and again over the past two centuries. The Museum has preserved many instruments of these changes, from printing presses to personal digital assistants.
The collections include hundreds of artifacts from the printing trade and related fields, including papermaking equipment, wood and metal type collections, bookbinding tools, and typesetting machines. Benjamin Franklin is said to have used one of the printing presses in the collection in 1726.
More than 7,000 objects chart the evolution of electronic communications, including the original telegraph of Samuel Morse and Alexander Graham Bell's early telephones. Radios, televisions, tape recorders, and the tools of the computer age are part of the collections, along with wireless phones and a satellite tracking system.
"Communications - Overview" showing 1 items.
- During World War II, the United States government recognized that full public support and dedication to the war effort was essential to victory. To bolster support, the government hired artists to create propaganda posters, designed to promote patriotism with simple, catchy slogans and colorful images. Toiling factory workers, thrifty home front mothers, and fearless soldiers were among the most popular images used by artists to communicate the message.
- This 1942 poster commissioned by the War Shipping Administration encouraged a specific mission, designed to attract former seamen back into the Merchant Marine. At the time, American shipyards were producing cargo ships faster than crews could be assembled, forcing recruiters to rely not only on new volunteers, but also to persuade experienced mariners to leave retirement and go back to sea.
- The creation of incentive posters mainly fell under the watch of the Office of War Information, a government agency created by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in June 1942 to consolidate public information services and coordinate the sanctioned release of war news. The OWI reviewed and approved the content of newsreels, radio broadcasts, and billboards, in addition to producing hundreds of posters. Initially, the most pressing message to be communicated through posters was a warning to Americans about the dangers of discussing sensitive information like production schedules and troop movements that could be overheard by enemy spies. Over the course of the war, posters covered a variety of topics, such as encouraging the purchase of war bonds and galvanizing the work force at shipyards to keep production going on the assembly line.
- date made
- commissioned poster
- War Shipping Administration
- directed poster program
- United States. Office of War Information
- ID Number
- catalog number
- accession number
- Data Source
- National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center