Thursday, 22 September 2011

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A little bit of history

In 1939 the British governments Ministry of Information commissioned a series of propaganda posters which were designed to be distributed across the country at the onset of the hostilities of the Second World War, the posters were intended to offer the public reassurance in the dark days which lay ahead.

3 designs went into production; the “Keep Calm and Carry On” posters were the third of these designed and only 2.5 million were printed.

The first 2 designs “Your Courage, Your Cheerfulness, Your Resolution will Bring Us Victory” and “Freedom is in Peril” appeared up and down the country, but the “Keep Calm and Carry On” posters were held in reserve and were intended to be used only in times of crisis and invasion. These posters were never officially issued and remained virtually unseen by the public until one turned up more than fifty years later in a box of dusty old books which were bought in an auction. This poster went on display in a bookshop (Barter Books in Alnwick) and was such a hit with their customers that the owners decided to sell copies of it, later endorsing the production of “Keep Calm and Carry On” merchandise.

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