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UNITED STATES FOOD ADMINISTRATION
WORLD WAR I PAINTINGS

“Win the war by giving your own daily service.”
—Herbert Hoover, 1918

In order to assist our soldiers during World War I, the United States Food Administration was created to urge citizens to buy less, serve smaller portions, and reduce waste at home and in their communities. Herbert Hoover headed this massive program and promoted directives to “Save the Wheat” by serving one wheat-less meal a day; “Save the Meat” by not eating beef, mutton or pork more than once daily; “Save the Milk” for children; and “Save the Fuel” by burning fewer fires and using wood instead of coal.
 
After inviting artists to promote food conservation by illustrating phrases from Hoover’s speech titled “Food Control, A War Measure,” the paintings traveled throughout the nation during the summer of 1918. These paintings carried the message of the Food Administration, along with statistical charts that depicted the food situation in the United States and the needs of Europe.
 
After the exhibit circuit, some or all of the paintings were exhibited in libraries around the country. Every public library was directed to reserve space to encourage conservation of food, through bulletin boards, books, magazines, pamphlets, recipes, lectures, exhibits, crop and industry maps, and card catalogs of agencies doing war service. The USFA determined that they reached over half of the American population through local library cooperation. 
 
Our museum has 29 of these paintings in our collection, which were donated by Herbert Hoover in the early 1960s.

Shall We Send Our Best Men In, Linn Ball
Shall We Send Our Best Men
Linn Ball
The Body May Die But the Soul is Unconquerable, Dean Cornwell
The Body May Die But the Soul is Unconquerable
Dean Cornwell
Frank Streets
Frank Streets
Plowing, C.J. McCarthy
Plowing
C.J. McCarthy
E. H. Blashfield
A New Factor that Transcends All Others - Speed
E. H. Blashfield
Herbert Meyer
We Must Maintain the Strength of All the Men, Women & Children both Here and There and Thus the Strong Arm of Our Soldiers
Herbert Meyer
John Newton Howitt
We Must Keep the Perishables & Send Food That Will Keep Across the Sea
John Newton Howitt
F. R. Harper
The Measure of Ships Saved by Food Supplied from North America is the Measure of Ships for Our Own Soldiers
F. R. Harper

 

 


Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum
P.O. Box 488
210 Parkside Drive
West Branch, IA 52358
319-643-5301