This item features the British Things crown and is mounted on an acrylic block for more accurate stamping. Also included is an Endorsing Ink Pad - Ready inked with endorsing ink. - Suitable for stamping paper, card etc. Made from the very best materials available. Special formula of ink that is developed for the best results when used with either rubber stamps or polymer stamps. Available in Red, Blue, Green and Black. Please select when ordering or a blue ink pad will be sent by default.
Stamp size is 2.2cm x 3.4cm (0.86in x 1.33in)
For pigment inks see our separate listing.
KEEP CALM AND CARRY ON - A HISTORY
In the Spring of 1939, with war against Germany all but inevitable, the British Government’s Ministry of Information commissioned a series of propaganda posters to be distributed throughout the country at the onset of hostilities. It was feared that in the early months of the war Britain would be subjected to gas attacks, heavy bombing raids and even invasion. The posters were intended to offer the public reassurance in the dark
days which lay ahead.
The intent of the poster was to convey a message from the King to his people, to assure them that ‘all necessary measures to defend the nation were being taken’, and to stress an ‘attitude of mind’ rather than a specific aim. On the eve of a war which Britain was ill-equipped to fight, it was not possible to know what the nation’s future aims and objectives would be.
At the end of August 1939 three designs went into production. The first poster, of which over a million were printed, carried a slogan suggested by a civil servant named Waterfield. Using the "Tudor" crown of King George VI (Never an actual crown, but designed as a graphic representation of the King and Government) as the only graphic device, the stark red and white poster read ‘Your Courage, Your Cheerfulness, Your Resolution will Bring Us Victory’. A similar poster, of which around 600,000 were issued, carried the slogan
‘Freedom is in Peril’. But the third design, of which over 2.5 million posters were printed, simply read ‘Keep Calm and Carry On’.
The first two designs were distributed in September 1939 and immediately began to appear in shop windows, on railway platforms, and on advertising hoardings up and down the country. But the ‘Keep Calm’ posters were held in reserve, intended for use only in times of crisis or
invasion. Although some may have found there way onto Government office walls, the poster was never officially issued and so remained virtually unseen by the public - unseen, that is, until a copy turned up more than fifty years later in a box of dusty old books bought in auction. Shop owners Stuart and Mary Manley (of Barter Books - Alnwick), liked the poster so much that they had it framed and placed near the till in their shop. It quickly proved popular with customers and attracted so many enquiries that Stuart and Mary decided to print and sell a facsimile edition which has since become a best-seller, both in the bookstore and online.
“The poster was a major medium in a way that it isn’t now,” says Professor Jim Aulich, an expert in propaganda art at Manchester Metropolitan University. “It wasn’t competing with television. It was one of the main ways of reaching people, through billboards and on public transport. This slogan speaks to people’s personal neuroses. It’s not ideological, it’s not urging people to fight for freedom like some propaganda posters did.”
References: Lewis, R M, ‘Undergraduate Thesis: The planning, design and reception of British home front propaganda posters of the Second World War’: Written April 1997. www.ww2poster.co.uk/research_project/ugrad /index.htm and Stuart Hughes, BBC News 4 Feb 09 “Keep
Calm and Carry On - The best motivational slogan ever?”