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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • POUR IT ON: WWII POSTER

Keep Calm and Carry On: 1939

Keep Calm and Carry On: 1939

Printed in 1939 by His Majesty's Stationery Office on orders of England's Ministry of Information, "Keep Calm and Carry On" was, despite being run off in vast quantities along with two related posters, never seen during World War II; the event that would have triggered its release -- a German invasion of the British Isles -- never happened. And so the posters, bearing the crest of King George VI, were shredded in 1945, with a small number saved in the archives of the Imperial War Museum. It was not to emerge again until 2000, when a tattered copy was discovered lining a box in a secondhand bookstore in Northumberland.

Since then its alt-appeal has grown to the point where the design has become a full-fledged Internet meme, variations of the "Keep Calm" sentiment appearing on blogs, mugs, T-shirts and posters. Now including this one presented by Vintagraph and printed by Juniper Gallery on a variety of archival stocks in the original red as well as other hues. You will probably not find a nicer version of KCaCO offered in as wide a choice of sizes and colors, with the original typography -- font, proportions and spacing faithfully reproduced. Hang one in your office, den or dorm and you'll find yourself Carrying On with surprising serenity.

On Shorpy:
Today’s Top 5

Theme

Now we know the inspiration for all those wonderful "Carry On" movies in the 1950s.

So simple. So true.

I learned about this poster some time ago. It's so very British. When copies finally came available I purchased one. We could all stand more of this in our lives.

A seed is sown

The first movie in the "Carry On" series, "Carry On Sergeant," appeared in 1958.

Coincidence, certainly, but what a great connection if there had been a "Carry On Carrying On" produced!

Keeping calm and carrying on

This couldn't have come at a better time. Definitely good advice AND a reminder that whatever "troubles" I have they are nothing compared to those that the British people had to go through. Perhaps they didn't need the poster. They did it anyway.

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