Artifact of the Month

French World War I poster
Donated by Lonnie Walker

French World War I posterProduced in 1917, this poster was used to help encourage subscription to France's Third National Defense Loan during World War I. To help finance France's involved in the war, the country issued a series of four National Defense Loans.

Lt. Jean Droit of the French infantry created the scene of a soldier standing in a trench, which was widely associated with warfare during World War I.

The text on the poster reads, "Standing in the trench illuminated by the first rays of the sun, the soldier dreams of victory and his home.  So that he could ensure one and find the other, subscribe to the the 3rd National Defense Loan."

The poster was discovered in a trunk in an old hotel in Eureka Springs (Carroll County). The trunk, which contained posters, army manuals, maps, and letters, had belonged to 1st Lt. John Harold Lawson (1897-1966), who served with the Illinois 123rd Field Artillery 33rd Division during World War I. See another poster found in the trunk.

Following the war, John Lawson returned to his hometown of Kewanee, Illinois, where he lived with his mother while attending college. From 1938 to 1960 he and his wife, Leora, lived in Topeka, Kansas, where he worked as an accountant for Kansas Power and Light Company. Both John and Leora Lawson are buried in the Eureka Springs Cemetery.

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