Veteran’s Day, 1919

Repost from 11/11/11

This ad is from 1919, a year in which Americans were seeing the return of many injured servicemen from WWI.  America had a bit of a romanticized view of the war, being so far removed from the horrors that Europe was experiencing, and even after the war ended, and many men came home with their rose-colored glasses removed, the public was pretty much unaware of the horrendous experience of it all.

This ad came form a 1919 Harper’s Bazar.  Many of the stories in the magazine, and in others from 1919, refer to returning soldiers,  and to the war, but there really is no mention of just how bad an experience it had been.  In the stories, there seems to be no “shell shock,”  no poison gas, no death.

I guess it would have been worth it had one of the names for WWI been true – “The War to End All Wars.”  But unfortunately, they were wrong in 1919.



Filed under Advertisements, Holidays

8 responses to “Veteran’s Day, 1919

  1. Thank you for bringing our attention to the horrors of war we do NOT see in those old commercials and ads. The “Wounded Warriors” ads seen on ads today….. bring our attention to the real after effects of war on our brave soldiers. Bless them ALL this Veteran’s Day !


  2. thank you for sharing this ad – what was the artist thinking!? How insensitive -i an’t believe this was printed!? having lost a family member in each war since the American Revolution..lrts not forget the Women ,please-who fought along side of our men…God Bless all of them


    • Times and sensibilities were so different from today. I’m sure they just wanted to move on and forget about the horribleness.


    • Times and sensibilities were so different from today. I’m sure they just wanted to move on and forget about the horribleness. The artist was the famous Coles Philips, and I assume he was merely illustrating what the Luxite company ordered for their ad. This was an ad aimed at women, who must be protected from the realitiy of the war, or so it was thought.


  3. My grandfather spent a couple of years in Germany during WWI and never spoke about it, though he did pick up some German that he remembered into his 80s. Things were so different back then, and a person’s feelings really were secondary to making a living. Our culture changed so much in his lifetime!


    • My husband worked for the VA (Veteran’s Administration) and when he first started in the early 1980s, he had several clients who were WWI vets. None of then would talk about their experiences, and after reading more about that war I can see why.


  4. Thanks very much for this post, Lizzie. Agree that we can’t understand the full horror of what they experienced. Neither can we appreciate why, 100 years later, and entire country continues to stand silent for 2 minutes to mark its’ end.


    Liked by 1 person

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