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THE LIBERTY LOAN CAMPAIGNS

Presented here are examples of ephemera used in the sale and distribution of the WWI Liberty Loans

Liberty Loan Committee of New England

"Buy Liberty Bond to Keep" Postcards

 

These postcards are an example of the public awareness campaigns used by Liberty Loan Committees throughout the nation. This solicitation, like most of the war campaign propaganda, employed use of emotional imagery and charged language to generate support for the bond drives.  

 

Mailed under the authority of the Treasury Department

Liberty Loan Bond Box

 

These metal savings boxes were distributed by many banks and businesses as a promotional gift.  They had a built in lock, and were meant to use as a way of storing liberty bonds at home.  

This box bears the mark of The Rome Fertilizer Company of Rome, Georgia.

Liberty Loan Committee Badge
Toledo, OH

Liberty Loan Bond Savings Envelopes

 

These savings envelopes were distributed by local banks to their customers throughout the country. Banks and other types of businesses would imprint their information on the folders, which came in a variety of sizes and designs.

 

Liberty Bonds were sold at these banks, and the Federal Reserve aided the purchase of bonds through a program of "Borrow and Buy," loaning funds at below-market interest rates to facilitate the purchase of these securities.

1917 Sheet Music

"That's A Mother's Liberty Loan" 

 

This example is one of many songs composed to support the American war effort. Referred to as a novelty song, the music was composed by Harry Mayo, Harry Tally, and Clarence Gaskill.

Published by M. Witmark & Sons, NY

1917 Recording

"That's A Mother's Liberty Loan" 

Performed by Greek Evans

Columbia Gramophone Company

Click image to view music

1917 Sheet Music

"Liberty Loan March" 

 

This music was written by the famous American composer and conductor John Phillips Sousa. Sousa was a veteran of both the U.S. Marine and the U.S. Naval Bands, and served during WWI.

 

Published by T.B. Harms and Francis Day & Hunter, NY

1917 Recording

"Liberty Loan March" 

Performed by Sousa's Band

Victor Talking Machine Company

1917 Sheet Music

"Buy A Liberty Bond For The Baby" 

 

This novelty song was written by Eddie Moran, with the music composed by Harry Von Tilzer.

 

Published by Harry Von Tilzer Music Publishing, NY

Click image to view music

1918 Second Liberty Loan Application

1917 Liberty Loan McAdoo Event Poster 

 

 A poster advertising an October 9th speech by Treasury Secretary William Gibbs McAdoo to citizens of Tacoma

 

17" x  25"

Printed by the Edwards & Deutsch Litho Co., Chicago

20" x  30"

Printed by the Harris Printing & Engraving Co., Chicago

16" x  22"

 

Pins made by the Whitehead & Hoag Co., Newark, NJ

Printed by the Ketterlinus Printing, Philadelphia

20" x  30"

Printed by the Edwards & Deutsch Litho Co., Chicago

20" x  30"

Printed by the Greenwich Lithograph Co., NY

20.5" x  27.5"

Printed by the American Lithograph Co., NY

20" x  30"

Los Angeles Liberty Loan Committee Circular

 

This 1917 circular promoted the First 3.5% Liberty Loan.

York Pennsylvania Liberty Loan Brochure

 

This 1918 brochure, printed by the local chamber of commerce, outlined the county plan for conducting their Liberty Loan drive

1918 Third Liberty Information Pamphlet

 

This short pamphlet, printed by the Treasury Department's Bureau of Publicity, was distributed to promote understanding of the Third Liberty Loan Campaign. The introduction from Treasury Secretary William Gibbs McAdoo, included the following remarks:

       

 

 

 

 

 

A handwritten, signed copy of this speech is found within The Herbstman Collection

We must support our gallant sailors and soldiers. We must make them swift victors in their fight with the Kaiser. We can do it if we at home do our duty with the same quality of patriotism that animates our men in the trenches. The least duty we can perform- and we should be eager and happy to perform it- is lend our money, every available dollar we have or can save, to our Government in order that our gallant sons may be supplied with all they need to save America.

         

                   No true patriot will fail to buy United States Liberty Bonds. 

 

An American Soldier Speaks

Liberty Loan Postcard

 

Another example of a direct solicitation from the U.S. Treasury to encourage the purchase of Liberty Loans.

1918 Third Liberty Loan

"Ring Me Again" Doorknob Ad

 

Printed by R.E. Deveney, Cleveland, OH

 

 

1918 Third Liberty Loan Boy Scouts Bond Application

 

1918 Third Liberty Loan Honor Flag Award Poster

 

This poster depicts the Honor Flag awarded by the Treasury Department to cities and towns participating in the Third Liberty Loan bond drive.  Municipalities would have subscription goals assigned by their respective Federal Reserve District Liberty Loan Committees.  Exceeding these quotas would earn the locality an Honor Roll Flag, with stars awarded every time the quota was exceeded by a doubling of bond sales.  The purpose of this award system was to generate a spirited competition between cities in raising money for the war effort.

 

Printed by Capital Publishing, Inc., Washington D.C.

1918 Third Liberty Loan 

"Are You 100% American?" Poster

 

Printed by the Sackett & Wilhelms Corp., NY
"20 x  30"

1918 Third Liberty Loan
"Remember the Flag of Liberty" Poster

 

Printed by the Heywood Strasser & Voight Litho Co., NY

20" x  30"

 

These iconic posters exemplify the patriotic messaging throughout the various Liberty Loan drives.  One of the polarizing parts of the bond drives, these direct appeals to patriotism were common throughout the war effort.  Controversy arose as many Americans felt that this messaging was inappropriate.  New immigrants especially were directly targeted in these campaigns, with advertising often imploring them to "prove their patriotism" through the purchase of war bonds.

1918 Third Liberty Loan
"The Facts" Poster

 

 

Woman's Liberty Loan Committee

Liberty Loan Poster

 

This poster promotes both frugality and thrift for the war effort.

 

Meisenheimer Printing Co., Milwaukee, WI

20" x  28"

1918 Woman's Liberty Loan Committee

Fourth Liberty Loan Armband

 

This armband was worn by women representing a local 

fundraising committee for the Fourth Liberty Loan drive.

 

Printed by the Whitehead & Hoag Co., Newark, NJ

Click image to view music

1918 Sheet Music

"Here At Home We're Backing You"

 

Adopted for Washington State's Fourth Liberty Loan drive. The lyrics and music were composed by John Henry Lyons, and the sheet music was distributed by Sherman, Clay & Company of Seattle, WA.

 

Click image to view music

1918 Sheet Music

"Liberty Bond Magee"

 

The lyrics and music were composed by John Barclay and Charles McNaughton. It was published by Kerry & Mills Publishing of NY, NY.

 

1918 Metropolitan Canvas Committee

NY Police Department Liberty Loan Poster

 

This rare poster advertises the $50 million in Liberty Loan

sales made by the men and women of the NYPD.

 

20" x  30"

Printed by The Commercial Printing & Lithograph Co., Akron, OH
 
11" x  14"

1919 Liberty Loan Committee of New England

Liberty Bond Drive Yiddish Poster

 

This poster, written in Yiddish, was likely meant for the large immigrant Jewish population in Boston.  

 

30" x  40"

1918 Onondaga County Defense Committee Pin

 

This pin was awarded to volunteer members of the Onondaga Defense Committee, one of many such organizations throughout the nation dedicated to raising money for the war effort. Provided here is a clipping from The Syracuse Herald, dated April 27, 1918. The article and photograph refer to an April 26 Syracuse Liberty rally.

1919 Liberty Loan Committee of New England

New England's Liberty Loan Record Poster

 

This Victory Loan poster was issued for the final bond drive of the Liberty Loan campaign.  Presented are New England's quotas and subscriptions for the past four loan drives, all of which were oversubscribed. The message to citizens is that sales of Victory Bonds should follow the previous bond drive successes.

 

40" x  30"

1919 Victory Liberty Loan Award Token

 

This small token was awarded by the Treasury Department for service in the Victory Liberty Loan drive.  It was cast from captured German cannon metal.

1919 Victory Liberty Loan Application Form

 

The 1919 Victory Bond was issued after the conclusion of the Great War.  This pledge form provided subscribers several options for both the type and payment for the Victory Issue.  The federal government and local banks both offered installment plans to pay for bond purchases. Note that the company sponsoring the bond drive is stamped on the left of the application.

Printed by the Heywood Strasser & Voigt Litho Co., NY

21" x  11"

 

Manufactured by J. L. Lynch, Chicago, IL
Manufactured by American Art Works, Coshocton, OH

 

Manufactured by the Bastan Bros. Co, Rochester, NY

14" x  21"

1919 Sheet Music

"The Victory Liberty Loan March"

 

This song was written composed for the post-war Victory Liberty Bond drive. The lyrics and tune were composed by Captain F. A. Beck, a U.S. Marine. The music was arranged by J. Henry Menn, and published by Kildreth & Beck of Freeport, New York.

 

1919 Woman's Liberty Loan Committee of Pennsylvania Postcard

 

The Woman's Liberty Loan Committee of Pennsylvania was one of many such women's organizations dedicated to selling Liberty Loans for the war effort.  This oversized postcard was mailed under the authority of the Treasury Department in 1919 on behalf of the Victory Bond drive.

Printed by Allied Printing, Pittsburg, PA

9" x  6"

 

Manufactured by American Art Works, Coshocton, OH

Printed by the Heywood Strasser & Voigt Litho Co., NY

11" x  14"

 

1919 Victory Loan Drive Honor Roll Certificate

 

This Certificate of Appreciation was mailed out to individuals who helped participate in the Victory Liberty Loan Drive.  It was issued by the War Loan Committee of the Ninth Federal Reserve District, which was out of Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Liberty Loan Campaign Small Posters

 

Liberty Loan posters were reproduced in many different sizes, often for use in the windows of homes and small businesses. The above images represent a sampling of the millions of posters printed for the war effort.

Liberty Loan Club Membership Ads

 

These advertisements, sponsored by regional banks, promoted a Liberty Bond savings club during the war. Customers could make weekly installment payments towards the purchase of Liberty Loans.

Liberty Bond Coupon Cutter

 

This ruler was used as a coupon cutter, making the task of tearing off Liberty Bond coupons easier.  Banks and other financial institutions often gave these out as promotional items.  This example is from Robert Garrett & Sons, Investment Bankers, Baltimore.

 

A gift from the family of Lawrence Schuffman

1919 Victory Bond Savings Envelope

Liberty Bond Drive Correspondence

 

Throughout the war effort, letters were mailed from the twelve different Federal Reserve Districts, often on behalf of various Liberty Loan Committees in an effort to raise awareness for the Liberty Bond drives.  Presented here is a sample of this correspondence.

 

1919 Application For Victory Liberty Loan 

Liberty Loan Committee of New England

 

This application, prepared for the town of Old Lyme, Connecticut, is an example of the post-war Liberty Loan drive. 

 

Feed Our Fighters, Buy Liberty Bonds

Liberty Loan Die-cut Cardboard Display

Lithography by Lutz & Sheinkman, NY

38" x  27"

Twelfth Federal Reserve District Liberty Loan Organization

Recognition Certificate

 

This award, given by the Southern California Liberty Loan State Central Committee, was presented to individuals who aided in the sale and promotion of the Liberty Loan bonds.

 

Printed by W.P. Jefferies Co. Bank Note Printers, Los Angeles

Third Federal Reserve District Liberty Loan Committee

"Liberty's Primer Booklet"

 

This small booklet was published by the Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank to promote the Third Liberty Loan Bond drive.

 

Written by W.F. O'Donnell

Third Federal Reserve District Liberty Loan Committee

"Second Liberty Loan" Handbill

 

This small handbill was published by the Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank to promote the Second Liberty Loan Bond drive.

 

1919 Ventura, California

"Stolen Liberty Bonds" Handbill

 

This handbill listed several locally owned stolen Liberty Bonds sought for recovery.  This card would have undoubtedly been given to area banks and brokerage firms.

 

Published by the Ventura Sheriff's Department

1919 Liberty -Victory Bond

"Facts" Brochure

 

Printed by the ABA, this brochure answered basic questions about the Liberty and Victory Bond issues, and encouraged the purchase of these securities. This example was distributed by the Manhattan Savings Institution, New York City.

 

Published by the American Bankers Association

1917 Address of Secretary of the Treasury

"The Second Liberty Loan and the Causes of Our War With Germany"

 

This speech was given by William Gibbs McAdoo to the American Banker's Association's Annual Convention on September 28, 1917.  Subsequent to this speech, Senator John Shafroth of Colorado had the remarks entered into the Senate Record.

 

Washington: Government Printing Office 1917

Click to view document 

1919 Illinois Woman's Liberty Loan Committee

State Conference Program

 

This document was the program to the March 22, 1919 state conference.  The event took place in Chicago, which is home to the Seventh Federal Reserve Banking District.

"Liberty Bond" Cigar Label

 

Vintage cigar labels have long been appreciated and collected for their artistry. This label encouraged the purchase of Liberty Bonds

Made by the Charles P. Stanley Cigar Company, founded in 1876

1917 Federal Reserve NY Appreciation Car

1917 Federal Reserve Bank of New York

Appreciation Card for the Fourth Liberty Loan Drive

 

This card was given to T. H. Miller for his work in promoting the Second Liberty Loan.  It bears the signature of the first President of the NY Federal Reserve, Benjamin Strong.

 

Dated December 21, 1917

1918 Boston Federal Reserve Card copy.jp

1918 Federal Reserve Bank of Boston

Appreciation Card for the Fourth Liberty Loan Drive

 

This card was given to G. Elmer Stevens for his work in promoting the Victory Loan.  It bears the signatures of both Charles A. Morss, the President of the Boston Federal Reserve, as well as the Chairman of the Board of Directors. 

 

Dated October 1918

1917 Federal Reserve Bank of Boston

Appreciation Card for the Second Liberty Loan Drive

 

This card was given to John A. Chamberlain for his work in promoting the Second Liberty Loan.  It bears the signatures of both Alfred L. Aiken, the first President of the Bank, as well as the Chairman of the Board of Directors.

 

Dated November 15, 1917

1919 Federal Reserve Bank of Boston

Appreciation Card for the Victory Bond Loan Drive

 

This card was given to G. Elmer Stevens for his work in promoting the Victory Loan.  It bears the signatures of both Charles A. Morss, the President of the Boston Federal Reserve, as well as the Chairman of the Board of Directors. 

 

Dated April 1919

1918  Liberty Loan Drive Letter

William Gibbs McAdoo, Secretary of the Treasury

 

This solicitation was part of Secretary McAdoo's personal involvement in raising awareness for the Liberty Loan program he created in 1917.  A handwritten portion of this letter is featured in The Herbstman Collection's Liberty Loan Gallery.

 

Dated March 28, 1918

1919 San Francisco Victory Liberty Loan Committee

Appointment Card for the Victory Loan Drive

 

This card was given to a Mr. M. Anderson of San Fransisco to recognize his authorization to take subscriptions and payments for Victory Bonds.

1918 Third Liberty Loan Campaign Certificate

Kansas City Liberty Loan Committee

 

This appreciation certificate was given to a volunteer for service in selling the Third Liberty Loan in the greater Kansas City metropolitan area.  Liberty Loan Committees were organized throughout the nation to assist in the sale of bonds during the war.

1918 Third Liberty Loan Campaign Appointment

National Woman's Liberty Loan Committee

 

This certificate was given as an appointment for the Chairman of the Des Moines, Iowa Woman's Liberty Loan Committee.  The certificate bears the facsimile signatures of William McAdoo and the Secretary of the National Woman's Liberty Loan Committee, Elizabeth Bass, as well as the signature of the state committee.

1927 Notice of Redemption of The Second Liberty Loan

 

This small document served as a notice to Liberty Bond holders that the 

Second Liberty Loan was being called November 15 of that year. 

Printed by the U.S. Government Printing Office

1919 11th Federal Reserve Dist Letter (2
Dated May 10, 1919
1919 11th Federal Reserve Dist Letter co
Dated May 17, 1919

1919 Eleventh Federal Reserve District Liberty Loan Organization Letters

Like all Federal Reserve Districts at the time, the Eleventh District, headquartered in Dallas, played a vital role in the sale and distribution of Liberty Loans.  These two letters, from the Bowie County Texas office, are examples of the types of correspondence from the time period.

Copyright The Joe I. Herbstman Memorial Collection of American Finance 

 

All Rights Reserved