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1917 Chambers Yiddish World War I Poster

[Food will win the war!] / שפייז וועט געווינען דיא קריעג! - Main View

1917 Chambers Yiddish World War I Poster


Jewish-American immigrant patriotism in WWI.


[Food will win the war!] / שפייז וועט געווינען דיא קריעג!
  1917 (undated)     29.25 x 19.5 in (74.295 x 49.53 cm)


A significant 1917 World War I propaganda poster in Yiddish illustrated by Charles Edward Chambers and published by the United States Food Administration. The poster appeals to Jewish immigrants to save food, particularly wheat, for the Allied war effort by suggesting that the European war was a threat to their hard-won freedom.
A Closer Look
The lithograph poster evokes the hopeful joy of immigrants arriving in New York Harbor after a long sea voyage. New York is presented in the background like a promised land, with golden skyscrapers and a rainbow. Immigrants in the foreground wave to the Statue of Liberty, which dominates the midground. Yiddish text below the image is an appeal to save wheat and other food resources,
textשפייז וועט געווינען דיא קריעג!
איהר קומט אהער צו געפינען פרייהייט.
יעצט מוזט איהר העלפען זיא צו בעשיצען.
מיר מוזען דיא עללייס פערזארגען מיט ווייץ.
לאזט קיין זאך ניט גיין אין ניוועץ

‏Food will win the war!
You came here seeking Freedom
You must now help Preserve it
Wheat is needed for the allies
Let nothing go to waste.
The poster follows Herbert Hoover's 1917 appointment as head of the Food Administration. Hoover pointed out to President Woodrow Wilson that 'second only to military action [food] was the dominant factor' in winning the war (Rawls p. 112). Variants of this poster were published in Yiddish, Italian, Spanish, and Hungarian.
Publication History and Census
This poster was drawn by Charles Edward Chambers and published in 1917 by the Food and Drug Administration. It was printed in New York by M. Rusling Wood. Examples in various languages occasionally appear on the market, but the Yiddish variant is scarce. We note holdings at the Library of Congress and a host of other institutions.


Charles Edward Chambers (August 9, 1883 - November 5, 1941) was an American illustrator and painter. Chambers was born in Ottumwa, Iowa. He studied at the Art Institute of Chicago and then at the National Academy of Design, where he studied under George Bridgman. Chambers produced numerous illustrations for writers such as Pearl Buck, Louis Bromfield, Faith Baldwin, and W. Somerset Maugham, as well as for magazines, including Harper's, Cosmopolitan, Woman's Home Companion, Ladies' Home Journal, and McCall's. During World War I (1914 - 1818) he illustrated a famous poster for the Food and Drug Administration extorting immigrants to aid in the war effort. This popular poster was issued in Yiddish, Italian, Spanish, and Hungarian. He went on to produced advertising illustrations for Chesterfield Cigarettes and Steinway and Sons. In 1931, he was awarded the 2nd Altman Prize at the National Academy of Design Exhibition, and in 2010, posthumously, he was inducted into the Hall of Fame of the Society of Illustrators. More by this mapmaker...

Milton Rusling Wood (April 19, 1875 - September 30, 1940) was a New York based lithographer active in the first half of the 20th century. Wood was born in Pennsylvania and attended Princeton University. He headed the New York lithography firm of his own name from about 1900 through the 1920s. Rusling Wood, as he was known, is best known for printing numerous government-sponsored propaganda posters for World War I (1914 - 1818). Learn More...


Good. Minor repair upper right margin. A few minor margin tears reinforced on verso.


Library of Congress 2002720472.