The “Clear the way!! Buy Bonds – Fourth liberty loan” propaganda poster was used during World War 1 to encourage the purchase of war bonds by those at home.
War bonds was debt issued by the government to the citizens of the country usually during war times. War bonds were actively sold in nearly all countries taking part in World War 1 and 2. The money raised from selling these bonds was used to finance the war effort. The propaganda posters used to push the sale of these often tied the purchase of these posters to patriotism.
The “Clear the way!! Buy Bonds – Fourth liberty loan” propaganda poster depicts members of the navy gathered around a ship gun preparing to fire. The men are bare foot and topless, behind them their commander can be seen looking through a pair of binoculars. Overhead is a woman surrounded by the U.S.A flag, she seems to be emerging from the sea and one arm points to the men below her who are fighting for America and her other arm points in the direction of their fire. This woman could be seen as a personification of of the U.S.A and liberty.
The poster was designed by Howard Christy Chandler who produced a number of similar posters during World War 1. These include the “If you want to fight, join the marines” and the “Fight or buy war bonds – Third liberty loan” poster. This is part of our collection of “war bonds posters”.