Patriotic posters dating back nearly 90 years which urged shoppers to ‘buy British’ are expected to reach £5,000 when they go to auction
The campaign was part of King Edward VIII’s drive to boost the British economy in the wake of the Great Depression.
It compels Britons to reject foreign made or imported goods in favour of products made in the UK.
This John Bull figure copied Kitchener’s famous WW1 poster which urged Britons to join up and serve their country. By pointing at the reader, the poster is designed to try and grip every reader to encourage them to buy British products instead of foreign goods. It was also the first ‘Buy British’ poster to be released
The ‘Buy British’ posters were designed to appeal to Britons from all walks of life, in a bid to try to boost the British economy. Football fans were also targeted as part of the campaign. Buying British would result in a ‘score for British employment and protect your job’
Another poster shows a rugby union match and pleads ‘buy British and pass your wages to another member of the British team’. It was the 12th poster in the series aimed at boosting production in the UK
‘Plain horse sense’ was utilised by the campaign to boost GDP in Britain. The slogan was designed to chime with the audience at the time and was part of a campaign led by King Edward VIII
All age groups, including children, were encouraged to ‘Buy British’ in the promotional campaign. The posters, which were in place in factories, was designed to prompt parents to tell their children to buy British goods
The policy was adopted by the Crown in November 1931 as it was stated the nation was buying ‘more than it could afford’ from abroad and Britons should ‘buy at home’.
Twenty-six posters were issued on a weekly basis to Britain’s factories carrying catchy slogans which implored workers to buy locally.
All 26 designs were kept by a Midlands factory owner who took them home after the campaign, and they have been passed from generation to generation.
The vendor has now decided to sell the posters after finding them in his attic while moving home.
Women were also the target of the advertising campaign to urged Britons to ‘Buy British’. In this image a woman can be seen talking to a shopkeeper and urging him to give her a product which is made in the UK
Unemployed people were also the target of the campaign as it promised to help create jobs in the country if people were to buy British goods
Upon launching his campaign in the 1930s, King Edward VIII said: ‘It is now recognised that as a nation we have been lately buying from abroad more than we are able to pay for by our exports, and that we should concentrate in the first place on buying at home more of what we need – on using to the full what our own farms and our own manufacturing plants can provide.
‘There is a great determination among us this winter to lessen our unemployment – to bring back work to those thousands of homes that are seeking and waiting for it, and to restore the fortunes of our countryside.’
One of the posters had a picture of a horse when the caption ‘plain horse sense – buy British and protect your jobs’.
‘Buying British’ was said to help put people in a job. This copy was the penultimate poster put out as part of the 26-week campaign. One poster was released each week as part of the promotion of British business
The last poster in the advertising series urged Britons to ‘keep on buying British, it helps us all’. A John Bull-type figure was utilised for the last posters, just as it was in the first
Another of the posters bares a stunning resemblance to Lord Kitchener’s famous First World War recruitment drive, with a man pointing his finger at the reader.
One of the posters depicts a young brother and sister at a shop counter asking the cashier ‘I want the kind my Daddy makes’.
And another poster shows a rugby match and pleads ‘buy British and pass your wages to another member of the British team’.
The posters are expected to fetch up to £5,000 when they got under the hammer with Onslow Auctions, of Stourpaine, Dorset.
Patrick Bogue, owner of Onslows Auctions, said: ‘The posters were issued to urge British people to buy goods made in the country instead of from abroad at a time of economic depression.
The message of this poster implies that buying British products will lift the doom and gloom which is surrounding the economy. A yellow, smiling sun can be seen rising over the grey streets
Workers in factories and in industrial parts of the country were some of the worst-affected communities in the Depression. This poster shows people working in what appears to be a coal power station. These factories made up the backbone of Britain’s industrial heartland
The main photograph used in this poster is similar to the one directly above. The background is meant to represent industrial towns across the country as it includes a power station and other manual places of work which were commonplace across the country’s urban areas
‘They are numbered one to 26 and were issued every week to be displayed at factories.
‘The message is very similar to what is going on in this country at the moment with Brexit.
‘They belonged to a factory owner in the 1930s and were inherited by his grandson, who had them stored away but rediscovered them when moving house.
‘I believe these posters were only issued in factories and they were likely destroyed after use so to find surviving copies is in fact quite rare.’
Women who helped form part of the country’s workforce, mainly from the First World War onwards, were told to spend their money on the high streets. After men had gone overseas to fight, women in the workplace became more popular as they stepped in to fill the shoes of the men
This poster also targets women who work. The message of the poster suggests that if they buy British products it will help keep workers, in particular women, in employment. Unemployment had skyrocketed to up to 70 per cent in some areas during the height of the Depression
During the time the posters were produced, Britain was gripped by an economic depression which originated from the Great Depression in the US in 1929.
Unemployment reached 70 per cent in some areas, with the industrial and mining areas of the north of England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales particularly hard-hit.
The sale takes place on December 14.
The patriotic side of Britons was appealed to in the campaign. Grand images typically associated with the Empire and its grandiose was used to stir up support for the cmpaign. Different sectors of the economy, including commerce, agriculture, industry and craftsmanship were written on the posters to encourage people from these sectors to buy into the campaign
British workers and goods were said to underpin the British economy. A red seal of approval with the British lion is emblazoned across a scene which could be any industrial city in the UK