Washington, D.C. National War Garden Commission, 1919. First edition of this booklet published after World War I. The National War Garden Commission was created in 1917. Illustrated with text figures on almost every page. All text and illustrations printed in green. A fine copy. Original buff paper wrappers titled in red and blue and printed with a full-color illustration (by James Montgomery Flagg) of a woman scattering seeds. Illustration on back cover in yellow and black. 6 in. x 9 in. 32 pp. 32 pp. Item #16974
The present item urges readers to continue war garden efforts after the end of World War I. The text reads: “America’s responsibility for the world’s food supply did not stop with the ending of the war. In peace, as in conflict, this country must carry the burden of Europe’s food problems. With the advent of peace these problems have become intensified. America is now expected to furnish the solution, and this can be done only through the continued application of high pressure food production and unwavering food conservation,” (p. 1) The National War Garden Commission encouraged Americans to start their own gardens at home, in schools, and as neighborhood efforts. These war gardens would increase the food supply without increasing the “use of land already cultivated, of labor already engaged in agricultural work, of time devoted to other necessary occupations, and of transportation facilities which were already inadequate to the demands made upon them,” (State Historical Society of North Dakota).
James Montgomery Flagg (1877 – 1960) is best remembered for his iconic “I Want YOU!” Uncle Sam recruitment poster, though he was also a prolific magazine illustrator and cartoonist. At the peak of his career, he was the highest-paid illustrator in the United States. He also painted portraits of notable figures like Mark Twain, Ethel Barrymore, and Jack Dempsey. His portrait of Dempsey now hangs in the Great Hall of the National Portrait Gallery.