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Gee!! I wish I were a man I'd join the navy

Date: 1915
Overall: 1041 x 684 mm, 0.15 kg
Medium: Ink on paper with cardboard backing
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Purchased with USA Bicentennial Gift funds
Classification:Posters and postcards
Object Name: Poster
Object No: 00015461
Place Manufactured:United States

User Terms

    This poster depicts a young woman wearing a sailor’s uniform declaring she would join the Navy if she were a man. This was a successful recruitment poster in World War I and effectively lured many men to enlist. Posters generally presented women as passive bystanders, until the later stages of World War II. This woman was modelled from Nancy Palmer who later married the artist Christy.

    SignificanceThis was one of Christy's most famous works and an example of how successful posters could be. At the outbreak of the Second War this poster was one of the first to be issued, having already been designed in World War I.
    HistoryPosters have long been used as a means to spread ideas and promote causes. During World War II, they were used to generate patriotism, sway public opinion and spread propaganda. They spoke from a position of authority to unite people in a common cause.

    These propaganda posters were often displayed in libraries, post offices, schools, streets and factories. They addressed a number of home and war front issues including worker productivity, security, food rations and war bonds. They were all part of a national and international campaign to support the war effort during WWII.

    This poster is typical of the way women were presented in World War I and even the early stages of World war II. However, by the conclusion of the Second World War women were being depicted in roles traditionally reserved for men.
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