This poster was issued by the US Army during World War II to promote the proper usage and care of gas masks on the Homefront. Since poisonous gas had been used a great deal in the First World War, the fear of its more prominent use in World War II spread throughout Britain and the United States. As a result, the use of gas masks became a main proponent in the protection of American and British citizens. Gas masks became an integral part of life; schools would perform instructional lessons for children and adolescents on how to use and put on your gas mask. Propaganda, such as this poster, would also be regularly used during this time as a reminder to fellow citizens.
This poster is a definite reminder of the importance of wearing and protecting your gas mask. On the top portion of the poster, the text reads "Carelessness Means Death" with a shattered gas mask on the left shadowed by a green skull. This indicates that if you are careless with your mask, you could die. On the bottom left hand side of the poster, the text reads "Don’t sit on it, it’s not a pillow or a knapsack" furthering reinforcing the importance of the gas masks proper care.
Sascha Maurer (1897- 1961) was born in Germany and was well known for his flair of modern design in ski and travel posters from the 1930s to 1940s. Maurer completed many poster designs for both the New Haven Railroad and the Pennsylvania Railroad. Maurer studied at the Munich Academy of Fine Arts and worked independently with acclaimed poster artist, Ludwig Hohlwein. After 4 years in the navy, Maurer moved to the United States where he worked for acclaimed poster artist, Lucien Bernhard, before opening his own studio.
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 our posters.