Food Administration Posters and a War Garden Commission
These posters directly reference war, battles and famine with illustrations of soldiers and Europeans, and with phrases like “Food is Ammunition” and “Every Garden a Munition Plant.”
The fourth poster, shown on display in the bottom photograph, also communicates indirectly with symbolism. The encyclopedia of fashion explains that the red Liberty Cap, or Phrygian cap, worn by Columbia (the personification of the U.S.), is a symbol of freedom from tyranny. Ancient Romans gave the cap to freed slaves. The cap was adopted later as a symbol of French Liberty and can be seen today on the seal of the United States Senate and the state seal of West Virginia. According to this poster, therefore, tending war gardens contributed to the war effort and preserved individual liberty.
Poster artists: Edward Penfield, George Illian, Jack Sheridan, Montgomery Flagg
Photographer: unknown 13
U.S. Food Administration (USFA), Educational Division, Advertising Section, c.1917, and National War Garden Commission, c.1917.
Source: NARA, Still Pictures Records Section, Special Media Archives, College Park, MD.