Lusitania – sunk 94 years ago today

We’re talking about the sinking of the Lusitania, and the role that incident played in getting the U.S. into World War I.

Coincidence:  Look at the date today.

Enlistment poster, after the sinking of the Lusitania

Enlistment poster, after the sinking of the Lusitania

94 years ago today.  U-20 sank the Lusitania, champion of the Cunard Line, on May 7, 1915.

World War I appears to have been a heyday for propaganda posters.  Google up “Lusitania +poster” and you can find a wealth of recruiting posters and just plain propaganda posters.  If only we had the time, there are a couple of lesson plans waiting in that search.

Note:  Details on the poster: Artist, Fred Spear, 1915; “Enlist,” published by Sackett & Wilhelms Corp.

Other resources:

  • All Lusitania, all the time:  Lusitania blog
  • 5 Responses to Lusitania – sunk 94 years ago today

    1. elektratig says:

      Well, I’m a few days late, but I just have to say that that’s a really striking poster — great find!


    2. Ed Darrell says:

      Great stuff as always. Thanks.

      Those orange crate labels — just the stuff to make a fantastic lesson plan out of . . . if we don’t get caught. God forbid we make history interesting, loaded with art and fruit and field-grown, lithographed patriotism, instead of dull gray print in a Texas-SBOE-bawdlerized book.


    3. Onkel Bob says:

      I am working towards an interdisciplinary degree, geography and art history. My thesis is the history of the orange. The reason I know of that story is because Western Lithograph and Schmidt Lithograph, the two big houses on the west coast, specialized in printing lithographs for fruit packers.
      Orange crate labels also took a military slant during those years, with labels such as Over There. The Pomona Public Library has a great on-line collection of these labels, as well as other images from Southern California.


    4. Ed Darrell says:

      That’s a new one on me. Are you a printer, Bob, or an artist? How do you come by this fascinating little tidbit?


    5. Onkel Bob says:

      It’s also interesting that WWI precipitated a change in how the art was made. Previously lithograph was restricted to stone, Bavarian limestone was the preferred medium. However, with the hostilities news stones could not be imported so the medium switched over to a new methodology using aluminum sheets. It completely changed commercial art was produced, making it more widely available and accessible.


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