US Navy Needs Sailors! Recruting Posters Tempt Men with Wages and Food

A constant theme throughout the history of the United States is the need for manpower for the armed services. To this end, there have always been recruiting efforts and the most simple and straight forward of these has been the poster. No matter which era they are from, they repeat a common message – do your duty and serve your country because only through your help can we win. Over the next few weeks, I will be providing some examples of these recruiting posters as they pertain to the Navy.

The following posters are from pre-World War One after the turn of the 20th century.

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US Navy Recruiting Poster, circa 1908. Poster featuring the historic US Navy ships (clockwise from upper left): Bon Homme Richard, Constitution, Oregon, and Hartford, with USS Michigan (BB-27) in center, plus information on pay and other benefits. Published on behalf of the Naval Recruiting Station, Saint Louis, Missouri. A faint stamp near the view of Oregon states: “After July 1, 1908, pay herein mentioned will be increased 10%”.

 

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Navy Recruiting Poster, circa 1909. Poster featuring a sailor, a South Carolina class battleship, small craft and details on pay and benefits, published about 1909.

 

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Navy Recruiting Poster. Nailed to a wooden pole at Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Photographed by John G. Krieger, of USS Eagle, on 10 September 1916.

 

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Navy Recruiting Office, circa 1914. Two Chief Petty Officers and another sailor in a recruiting office, probably in the New York City area, circa early 1914. Calendars on the wall are for February and April 1914. Recruiting poster behind the sailor at right is similar to that seen in Photo # NH 65452-KN.

 

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Navy Recruiting Postcard, circa 1910-1917. Front side of a postcard entitled “Trooping the Colors”, featuring a parade ground scene at the Naval Training Station, San Francisco, California, located on Yerba Buena Island in San Francsico Bay. The reverse side of this card, Photo # NH 92063-A , features a comparison between conditions in civil life and in the US Navy.

 

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Navy Recruiting Postcard, circa 1910-1917. Back side of a postcard entitled “Trooping the Colors”, featuring a comparison between conditions in civil life and in the Navy, and other benefits of a Naval career. The front side of this card, Photo # NH 92063, features a parade ground scene at the Naval Training Station, San Francisco, California, located on Yerba Buena Island in San Francsico Bay.

[Images courtesy of the Department of the Navy – Naval History & Heritage Command.]

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Charles McCain

Charles McCain is a Washington DC based freelance journalist and novelist. He is the author of "An Honorable German," a World War Two naval epic. You can read more of his work on his website: http://charlesmccain.com/

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