A Monthly Check to You for the Rest of your Life Beginning When You Are 65.
28 x 17.75 in (71.12 x 45.085 cm)
An iconic piece of American visual history, this is a 1936 Social Security Board broadside promoting the newly created Social Security System. With the U.S. Capitol towering in the background, a hand offers 'your monthly Social Security check' from the United States government: 'A monthly check to you for the rest of your life beginning when you are 65'. The reader is urged to 'get your Social Security Account Number promptly' and that 'applications are being distributed at all work places'. Informative and instructional, the poster includes details regarding eligibility, and how to return an application. Intriguingly, text along the bottom reads, 'Postmasters will display this poster in a conspicuous place in the Post Office lobby, on arrival, but not before November 24, 1936.' While this broadside does show evidence of being displayed in a post office, including pinholes in the upper margin, it is in very good condition.
The Genesis of Social SecuritySocial Security first emerged as a concept in the early 1930s during the Great Depression, as Americans grew concerned with rising poverty among senior citizens. Different versions of a federally funded pension plan were debated from 1932 through 1935, when the Social Security Act was signed into law by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. The concept was not universally beloved, with farmers being one of the Act's most vocal opponents. Early structural flaws, including excluded job categories, meant that at implementation women and minorities were severely excluded from benefits. Nevertheless, it proceeded, the first regular monthly payments being made January 31, 1940.
Publication History and CensusThis broadside was drawn by an unknown artist - signed only with their last name, Newman - and published by the Social Security Board in 1936. Two examples are cataloged in OCLC and are part of the collections at the Library of Congress and the University of Alaska Fairbanks. It is extremely rare to find an original example of this iconic work. We have not located any records of it appearing on the market in recent decades.
Very good. Closed minor margin tears professionally repaired on verso. Exhibits foxing. Crease in the upper left corner.