Lesser-Known Posters of the WPA

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Image: Library of Congress

The various project by the Works Progress Administration, ranging from beloved public buildings to invaluable photograph collections, are an iconic aspect of American history. The beautiful posters advertising the National Parks are particularly famous. But they’re just a small fraction of the total number of posters produced, to keep artists working through the Great Depression—something like 2 million, many of them lost. And so the collection at the Library of Congress contains a fair number that, out of context, are random in what they’re advertising to the point of being very, very funny.


For instance, this poster celebrating National Letter Writing Week, which promises, rather modestly: “THAT LETTER WILL BE APPRECIATED.”

HIKING. Look, they don’t need to spell it out, just remind you that it’s nice.

Interior decoration: Consider it!


Honestly, sand modeling is great! Do more sand modeling!



I absolutely love these! Thank you for sharing them.

Fun fact! These are all public domain images, and you are free to reproduce them for yourself if you desire a “Sand Modeling” poster of your very own.