See more objects with the tag labor, propaganda, hand, industry, tools, diagonal, World War II.

Object Timeline

  • We acquired this object.

1942

  • Work on this object began.

2016

2019

  • You found it!

Poster, America’s Answer! Production, 1942

This is a Poster. It was printed by U. S. Government Printing Office and published by Office of Emergency Management. It is dated 1942. Its medium is offset lithograph on paper. It is a part of the Drawings, Prints, and Graphic Design department.

Commissioned by the Division of Information, Office for Emergency Management in 1942, the America’s Answer! Production poster was designed by French émigré Jean Carlu. The striking propaganda poster was intended to inspire and invigorate the American population in the midst of World War II. For his design, Carlu employed many of the tools of composition that had been inherited through his modernist training in Europe and collaboration with fellow French graphic artist A.M. Cassandre. The use of isolated objects, bold typography and vertical layout helped to produce strong, aggressive images. In this poster, the symbol of a glove, wrench, and bolt communicated the equal value of factory work in supporting the American offensive across the ocean. Here, Carlu symbolically equates tools with weapons. The integration of typography with imagery – in this case: the bolt and wrench formed the ‘O’ of production – was a ploy Carlu continued to use throughout his career.

This object was donated by George R. Kravis II. It is credited Gift of George R. Kravis II.

Our curators have highlighted 4 objects that are related to this one. Here are three of them, selected at random:

  • Drawing, Hand
  • brush and gouache, graphite, newsprint collage on paper.
  • 1963-39-962

Its dimensions are

76.2 × 101.6 cm (30 × 40 in.)

It has the following markings

Lower right: seal with an eagle

It is signed

Signed lower left: Jean Carlu

It is inscribed

Inscribed in print, lower left: U.S. Government Printing Office Inscribed in print, lower right: Division of information / office for emergency management / Washington D.C. / 2149 / 1261

Cite this object as

Poster, America’s Answer! Production, 1942; Published by Office of Emergency Management ; offset lithograph on paper; 76.2 × 101.6 cm (30 × 40 in.); Gift of George R. Kravis II; 2018-22-118

This object was previously on display as a part of the exhibition Energizing the Everyday: Gifts From the George R. Kravis II Collection.

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<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url=https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/420557001/ |title=Poster, America’s Answer! Production, 1942 |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=21 February 2019 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>