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Exhibition Echoes of the Great War: American Experiences of World War I

Fred Spear, artist. Enlist! Boston Public Safety Committee, June 1915. Lithograph. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress (001.00.00)


Posters were a powerful tool for propaganda throughout the war. This image by Fred Spear is one of the most stirring in the Library's collection of more than 1,700 from the First World War. In June 1915, the Boston Committee of Public Safety published this poster in response to the sinking of the Lusitania. The haunting image of a mother and infant sinking further into the sea is based on a news account of the recovered dead. The Omaha Daily Bee wrote: "Most of the bodies there are women . . . . At the Cunard Wharf lies a mother still clasping in her arms the body of her 3-month-old baby."