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Advertisement for Caterpillar Tractor Company

Description:

This patriotic advertisement produced by the Caterpillar Tractor Company in 1951 was printed in July 21st issue of The Saturday Evening Post in an effort to inspire the public to write to military service members. The large image shows uniformed men quietly reading letters and magazines on top of a tractor produced by the company. The heartfelt wording tries to evoke the loneliness of combat and the importance of feeling remembered and loved. It ends with a reminder not to put off writing and encourages those with no one in the forces to find out how they can help.

Advertisements such as this were encouraged by the government and the various wartime agencies as it was believed that regular mail from home was essential for morale. Such advertising was ubiquitous during World War II. Continued in the years following, such as this print piece from the Korean War, the concept allowed companies to appear patriotic while still advertising their products.

Date:
1951
Medium:
paper; ink (multicolor)
Dimensions:
Height x Width: 13 5/8 x 10 1/8 in. (34.61 x 25.72 cm)
Museum ID:
2004.2016.6
Place:
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
Transcription:

Mail Call

Mail call means so much to him. You can't know unless you've been there yourself. Back home, somebody sits down with a pen and begins, "Hi, Kid" — or, "My Son"— or, "Dear Superman"— or, " My Very Own Darling." And then, not too much later, the guy with the big canvas pouch shows up, and your man — if he's lucky — "goes home" for a little while.

Do you know what it's like out there, with the familiar pattern of living broken, with friends and loved ones in another world? Whether he's in combat, sweating it out at the rear, or in training back home, he's been cut off. The monstrous monotony of fighting and waiting give him the feel of having been forgotten. If you could watch his face some time when he doesn't hear . . . when mail call passes him by . . .

But when word from you makes him feel remembered and wanted, that's good. Maybe just the hometown paper, telling how Aunt Jenny took first prize with her strawberry jam. Or a box of something good to eat to share with a sidekick who wasn't so lucky this time And best of all a letter — the closeness and reassurance and belonging that the right kind of letter brings — that magic carpet trip back to Sheboygan, Brooklyn, Waterville, Four Corners.

Only you can put the magic in mail call. You mean to write often, but you're busy — busy? — and sometimes you forget o, or put it off. Don't. And if you have no one in Service to write to, remember the men who have no one to hear from — and find out what you can do about it.

CATERPILLAR TRACTOR CO., PERORIA, ILLINOIS

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