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"Help Win the War With Your Brain & Brawn," 1918

Poster, "Help Win the War With Your Brain & Brawn"

Poster, "Help Win the War With Your Brain & Brawn"

New York State Library, NYSL_Poster_Buyer
Document Description
Recruitment poster for Watervliet Arsenal, 1918
What objects do you see in this poster?
What do you think these objects represent?
Why would a poster like this one be important to in recruiting workers for the arsenal?
How did the Watervliet Arsenal contribute to the war effort? How do you think this contribution affected the local economy?
What do the words “brain and brawn” mean in relation to the poster’s message?
Historical Challenges
What role have arsenals played throughout U.S. military history? Have they been a significant factor in the military success of this country? Explain your answer.
Interdisciplinary Connections
Science: What scientific discoveries of the early 20th century were utilized during World War I? How did these discoveries affect the outcome of the war?
English Language Arts: Write a descriptive paragraph detailing the desirable characteristics necessary for successful employment at the Watervliet Arsenal.

Historical Context
The Watervliet Arsenal was founded in 1813 and is the country’s oldest continuously active manufacturing arsenal. The arsenal is known as the cannon producer for the United States military. Throughout history, this arsenal has produced various cannon components and currently manufactures the main gun tube for the M1 Abrams tank. 

Posters like the one pictured here were used to recruit workers for the arsenal’s manufacturing operation during World War I. At the start of the war, the United States lacked the necessary workforce to support the military war effort. The manufacturing of weapons and the various components became a major priority. Artists created posters to aid in the recruitment of workers at the request of the United States government.

Essential Question
How do governments attempt to appeal to citizens for help with war efforts?
Check for Understanding
Explain the message of this poster and evaluate its effectiveness.