In 1944, Eleanor Roosevelt wrote in Readers’ Digest, a popular national magazine, that women “running their houses quietly and efficiently are contributing more to the war effort than they themselves realize.” Housewives were the first line of defense in the war against waste. Metal, rubber, fuel, textiles, meat, and other foods were needed to maintain America’s massive military. Before the war, conserving resources and carefully planning budgets were the characteristics of an expert housewife. During the war, these activities were acts of patriotism.
Housewives were also expected to take on civil defense activities. This included leading air raid activities including serving as an air-raid warden or neighborhood leader. This allowed women citizens to actively participate in the protection of the homefront.
Posters like this were displayed in stores, post offices, factories, and other public spaces around the country. This poster was created by the Office of War Information (OWI). The OWI was in charge of keeping the public informed about the war and maintaining morale. This poster targeted housewives. It provided a detailed breakdown of their wartime duties and instructed them how to perform their tasks to best support the collective war effort.