Remember Your Father

Place North & Central America: United States of America
Accession Number ARTV07533
Collection type Art
Measurement sheet: 26.6 x 20.4 cm
Object type Poster
Physical description offset lithograph on paper
Maker Unknown
Social Hygiene Division
Place made United States of America
Date made 1918
Conflict First World War, 1914-1918

Item copyright: Copyright expired - public domain

Public Domain Mark This item is in the Public Domain


A venereal disease prevention poster, presumably the fourth page torn from a book. Depicts a venerable and earnest old man, standing in front of a white picket fence, bidding his soldier son farewell. The title runs across the top part of the poster, and is printed in red ink. The remaining text occupies the right hand side, and then runs across the bottom of the poster. It reads: 'Your Father. He expects you to be a better man when you say: Howdy, Dad, than you were when he said: Goodbye Jim - take care o' yoursef. Don't splash mud on his name.' By employing vernacular in the text, the poster is designed to appeal to working class men. The posters produced by the Social Hygiene Division were a breakthrough in preventive medicine - previous to the war, venereal diseases were rarely discussed, and there were limited medical resources in the United States for the treatment of those suffering from them. This was no. 4 in a series of venereal disease prevention posters. At the beginning of the twentieth century venereal disease was a prevalent concern for social health organizations. The social stigma attached to these diseases prevented most people from discussing or addressing means of treatment. In 1913, at a conference in New York, several organizations dedicated to fighting prostitution and venereal disease joined together to form the American Social Hygiene Association (ASHA). The association was established to stop the venereal disease epidemic by educating the public about sexually transmitted infections, working to break down the social stigma attached to VD, and encouraging high moral standards. ASHA's early worked focused on education and awareness efforts within the armed forces. ASHA worked with the US War Department during the First World War when VD occurrences surged among soldiers. Their efforts included educating soldiers about venereal diseases and their transmission and attempting to eliminate prostitution, which was believed to be the primary vehicle for VD transmission among the armed forces. Due to its contribution to the war effort, ASHA gained national attention and succeeded in creating public awareness of VD.

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