War Department Publicity Photo, 1917
Interior View of Union Station with OWI Poster in the Background, c.1944
In 1917, a wartime publicity department photographed Fatty Arbuckle, famous actor and comedian, pasting up a Liberty Loan poster in Times Square, New York.
The WWI photograph illustrates how posters were displayed in urban spaces and in what quantities. The photo is also an example of a government agency's attempt to use a popular public figure to sway public opinion and to view the war effort positively.
The FSA photograph (at right) captured how the Office of War Information (OWI) hung enlarged posters in prominent public places like Union Station in Washington DC during WWII.
Photographer: Paul Thompson
and FSA Photographer: Gordon Parks
Sources: American Unofficial Collection of World War I Photographs, 1917-1918, NARA, College Park
and FSA/OWI Photograph Collection, Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress