This WWI poster features a young shipyard worker, with a rivet gun in one hand while his other arm beckons us to join him "on the job". A busy shipyard sets the scene behind him. Building naval ships became one of the most important homefront jobs in America during WWI. The reason for this lies in the founding principles of the United States Shipping Board, which was formed in 1916 before the outbreak of the War.
When the Spanish American War of 1898 ended, right on the heels of Reconstruction, America was strapped for cash. Congress capitalized on this time of relative peace, choosing to save money by divesting much of its commercial shipping lanes. By 1914, less than 10% of global trade was run with American-owned ships. As conflicts began to brew in Europe, the American government wisely realized their mistake in depending on mostly European ships for trade. The United States Shipping Board was formed in 1916 with the initial goal of creating ships the country could use as war broke out overseas. Less than two months after its formation, however, war reached the USA and the board's goal pivoted dramatically. The Emergency Fleet Corporation, the department that issued this poster, was formed and rapid construction began to make warships.
This is an Original Vintage Poster; it is not a reproduction. This poster is conservation mounted, linen backed, and in excellent condition. We guarantee the authenticity of all of our posters.