World War I-era posters discovered in Primghar, IA library attic - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

World War I-era posters discovered in Primghar, IA library attic

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PRIMGHAR, Iowa (KTIV) -

Cleaning out the attic is a chore that many people dread. But, as one Siouxland town found out, it just might pay off.

"To us it was kind of like finding a treasure chest," says Kay Geerdes, Vice President of the Primghar Library Board. Kay Geerdes and Kathy Luedke, board members of the Primghar Public Library, went to work cleaning out the library's attic in search of old Life Magazines that they could sell at their quasquicentennial.

But, instead of finding magazines they found posters. Posters from World War I. "And so we started taking them out, and as we were laying them out flat our comments were 'oh my goodness look at this,'" says Kathy Luedke, board member of the Primghar Public Library

After researching online, they found out that the posters were actually advertisements for Liberty Bond Loans issued during the war. "Liberty loan was trying to raise funds to pay for this World War I. So, they were trying to appeal to the American citizen in terms of trying to fund the war," says Kathy Luedke, board member of the Primghar Public Library.

Geerdes says the poster artists chose different scenes to appeal to different demographics. From the patriotic, to the traditional family, and even to the midwesterner. "The farmer boy that's our favorite, and he says 'sure, we'll finish the job,' kind of thing, and he has his hand in his pocket so that like 'we'll finish it financially, you do one thing we'll do the other,'" Kay Geerdes, Vice President of the Primghar Library Board.

Geerdes has often wondered how the posters came to Primghar. "My theory is that, we collect things, some of us are collectors, and that our former librarians saw that these could be very interesting things to learn from, and just rolled them up and saved them for us," Kay Geerdes, Vice President of the Primghar Library Board.

Community members are certainly glad they did. "I read about them and I'm interested in things like that, so it's really quite a find, I'd say," says Leon Hunt of Primghar, IA.

Geerdes and Luedke found about 55 of the WWI liberty bond posters. Though future plans for the artifacts aren't yet solidified, they plan on keeping a few of their favorites on display in library until the end of August. The board will make the final decision about whether to sell the posters to fund a library renovation, but the next step is to get the posters authenticated.

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