Digital Commonwealth

World War I Poster - Victory Girls

Item Information

World War I Poster - Victory Girls
The "Every Girl Pulling for Victory" World War I poster depicts a woman wearing a navy uniform rowing a small boat named Victory. Below are the words "Victory Girls," and beneath that, "United War Work Campaign." At the request of the Commissions on Training Camp Activities, the Playground and Recreation Association of America formed the United War Work Campaign, bringing together seven organizations: the YMCA, YWCA, American Library Association, War Camp Community Service, Knights of Columbus, Jewish Welfare Board, and Salvation Army. They provided soldiers with access to “better” sources of entertainment, such as movies, theaters, libraries and museums, swimming pools, gymnasiums, athletic fields, and clubs.
Penfield, Edward
Springfield College Archives and Special Collections
Collection (local):
College Archives Digital Collections
Young Women's Christian Association
World War, 1914-1918
International Young Men's Christian Association
War work
71 x 57 cm
Link to Item:
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United War Work Campaign
They also secured invitations to local homes, thereby allowing soldiers to meet chaperoned girls of high society. Their goal was to safeguard soldiers from the twin threats of immorality and venereal disease. During World War I, Victory Girls was an organization through which girls collected pennies, nickels, and dimes to support the war effort. However, by World War II, "Victory Girls" (comparable to "Khaki-Wackies" and "Good Time Charlottes") became slang for women who offered soldiers companionship. The illustrator, Edward Penfield (1866-1925), named the father of the American Poster, was a key figure in the evolution of graphic design and is credited for bringing abstractionism to commercial art. Born in Brooklyn, New York, Penfield studied under the well-known painter George de Forest Brush and ultimately became the art director of Harper's Weekly. After leaving the magazine, Penfield traveled, chronicling his experiences in Holland Sketches (1907) and Spanish Sketches (1911). To see the duplicate poster -
Scale is not 1:1 because item was digitized using a Canon EOS Rebel T1i. For true size, see "Extent" field; Poster was digitized for documentation, not for use in print or for projects, but for a higher quality image, see duplicate (SC17020): poster has a small tear in the center of the top edge and a small crease on its left edge.