Object: Poster, ’Your Sugar Ration’
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|Title||Poster, ’Your Sugar Ration’|
The Carey Printing Company (printing firm), circa 1917, New York
United States Government (publisher)
|Medium summary||Lithograph on paper|
x 508mm (Length)
|Credit line||Gift of Department of Defence, 1919|
America's voluntary ration
This First World War poster was created by the United States Government for display in shops participating in voluntary rationing. It advocates the conservation of food resources for overseas allies, specifically sugar. By the time the United States entered the war in April 1917, America was a major exporter of sugar, as it grew well in its tropical regions. During the First World War, sustaining Britain and the rest of the Entente Allies was one of the United States' major contributions to the war effort.
The poster uses a sketch illustration of America (voluntary) and England, France and Italy's (compulsory) sugar rations to show the American public the comparative maximum amount of sugar they should use per month. While the United States did not enforce food rationing in the First World War, the government relied heavily on propaganda campaigns to encourage the public to moderate food consumption.
British and American Posters in New Zealand
This item is part of a collection of First World War posters sent to New Zealand as examples of British and American propaganda. From 1917-1919, the Dominion Museum (now Te Papa) collected such war material with the help of the New Zealand High Commissioner in London and the Department of Defence. This particular poster arrived with the second batch of posters of over one hundred British and American war posters, sent by the High Commissioner in London via the Department of Internal Affairs in June 1919 and New Zealand War Records Section in London (Department of Defence).
The museum intended to collect and display such objects in a planned national war museum in Wellington which never eventuated. Instead, the museum toured over 100 war posters around New Zealand in the early 1920s in the context of increasing commemoration of the war during peacetime. For many, the posters illustrated important aspects of the war and the history of New Zealand's part in the war. This commemorative function was far removed from their original function to encourage wartime contribution.
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