Selling War, Era Artists' Pen And Ink Bandwagons

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JPK Huson 1863

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Forum Host
Joined
Feb 14, 2012
Location
Central Pennsylvania
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Image from recruiting poster for the 1st US Cavalry. One reason these images are so charming is the horse suspended in mid-air. Before photography was able to capture motion, general idea was maybe a two-beat gallop? This officer is also indicative of recruiting posters through several wars, a character I refer to as Dirk Granitejaw. Who didn't want to be Dirk? Dashing, isn't he?

Here he is again. The country is safe in my hands, little lady. Dirk was a veritable pin-up, if there had been lockers, teenage girls would have taped Dirk's image inside the door.
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I'm pretty committed to Art is Art is Art, all era art. That includes advertisements, some of most delightful images we have from the Civil War era were ads- washing machines, threshers, false teeth- you could look at this stuff all day long and into next Tuesday without getting bored.

Smitten by recruiting posters, advertisements all by themselves. They sold war, how patriotic it would be to sign up, how adventurous, how glorious an endeavor! Some printers seem to have shared themes, once in awhile an artist must have taken off and flown all by him/herself.
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For family, country and whatever glory there would be when a slain foe lay under your foot.

Snipping a lot of these to focus on the artwork. I'm sincerely not being flippant. War was and is a serious business. Era ad men did their best to lure would-be soldiers over the brink into well, an attractive war. An advertised bounty blazened across most must have been helpful too.

Ok, this is one of my favorites. Guessing the printer's only available ' cavalry ' image was from a previous ad for a livery stable. I don't think this is Buford, do you? Isn't it wonderful?
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Dirk again, leading a charge over something explosive

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First, wonder how anyone came up with $163? You generally see " 250 " and "300". 163 seems a little random, doesn't it? This is interesting for a few reason- onus on freedom.The woman must signify Lady Columbia, who frequently wore the freedom cap. ( She doesn't on the statue topping our Capitol but that's a whole 'nother story involving politics of the era ). Displayed here so front and center could be a reference to enslaved and the fight to free them. I said could.

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All branches of service were coaxed through posters. This young fellow must be Dirk's brother Richard. USS Constitution was a wonderful patriotic symbol, instantly recognizable.

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The Granitejaws were an extensive family. This bulletproof member dashes into the cannon's mouth over fallen enemies.

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Again with a random amount- $154? This is a newspaper ad as opposed to a poster, quality suffered somewhat but it's still awesome.

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Amazingly this is also a newspaper ad- remember, the print would be so small you wouldn't be able to see the details inserted by an unknown artist. He/she did it anyway.

And there's just the fashion approach, emphasis on a large weapon and walking to war in style.
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We'll never know how many men responded to these images, which ones stopped reading after $154 and who was headed that way anyway. Impossible to say but it wasn't for lack of trying.

Quite a few more, will have to dig them up. These are from era newspapers and a public access book you can find in several archived collection.

Please note I'm only stressing this particular era artwork, not making commentary on who signed up or why. One more, an obvious temptation to fight for BOTH your countries. Immigrants were an awfully important part of our population. With reason.
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Rhea Cole

First Sergeant
Joined
Nov 2, 2019
Location
Murfreesboro, Tennessee
Wood block engraving is still a living craft. You can still order sets of beautifully crafted tools for etching end grain printing blocks. Some of the modern work is really quite wonderful. Good post, enjoyed seeing these images.
Hatches Showprint is still cranking out woodblock posters downtown in Nashville.
 

connecticut yankee

First Sergeant
Joined
Jun 2, 2017
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And if the money doesn't get 'ya, how about getting to know some "kind officers", fighting with "good sound men", housed in the best barracks in New York AND given splendid clothing upon enlistment? No fancy artrwork necessary here with all these frills comin' your way!
 
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JPK Huson 1863

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Forum Host
Joined
Feb 14, 2012
Location
Central Pennsylvania
And if the money doesn't get 'ya, how about getting to know some "kind officers", fighting with "good sound men", housed in the best barracks in New York AND given splendid clothing upon enlistment? No fancy artrwork necessary here with all these frills comin' your way!
" Splendid clothing ", laughed out loud! As a means to talk someone into getting shot at, seems a little weak, doesn't it? That whole thing is wonderful, thanks for posting!
 

JPK Huson 1863

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Forum Host
Joined
Feb 14, 2012
Location
Central Pennsylvania
Another, Lady Columbia making an appearance again. She fascinates me anyway. Uncle Sam stepped in to her old shoes and seems the most iconic representation of ' US ' , at least the most recognizable. I've always wondered what on earth happened to Lady Columbia? Uncle Sam is great but Columbia's image includes much, much more symbolism relevant to who we are and how we got here.

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