Poster, Your Work Means Victory

Before the first troops could be shipped overseas to fight in the trenches of France during World War I, the American people had to be convinced that the war was both justified and necessary. To sway public opinion, President Woodrow Wilson initiated a massive project to flood the country with powerful propaganda. Americans were called upon to enlist, to buy war bonds, to conserve food and essentials—anything that would help the war effort. This poster, by artist Fred J. Hoertz, reminded shipyard workers that their labor was essential for victory. Like many posters geared towards the manufacturers of war materials, "Your Work Means Victory"was meant to show workers that they were just as important as the troops.
Created just days after the United States declared war on Germany in April 1917, the Committee on Public Information was the independent agency that oversaw the production of various propaganda means, such as newspaper ads, lecturers, and films. But the most effective and wide-reaching method was from the Committee on Pictorial Publicity, which issued the thousands of colorful posters that lined Main Streets across the country. Whether these images were created for a Liberty Bond drive, the Red Cross, or the Department of Labor, every poster urged Americans to do something for "the boys over there."
Currently not on view
Object Name
date made
initiated propaganda program
Wilson, Woodrow
agency oversaw production of propaganda
Committee on Public Information
issued posters
Committee on Pictorial Publicity
Hoertz, Fred J.
Physical Description
paper (overall material)
average spatial: 38 in x 27 7/8 in; 96.52 cm x 70.8025 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
The Emergence of Modern America
World War I
See more items in
Work and Industry: Maritime
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Credit Line
Gift of Frank O. Braynard, Sea Cliff, New York
Publication title
On the Water online exhibition
Publication URL

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