The 1930s brought forth a new era in the US. We took a few Joe Louis-like blows to the chin in terms of our economy. In an unfortunate parallel, our fields were blowing away in the dust bowl. As a means to getting people working and retaining some of that American swagger that defined the 20s, the government created the Works Progress Administration (WPA). It was a defining period for America and despite the difficulties faced by the majority of Americans, it demonstrated that we as a people, in the face of long odds, never back down from challenge and strive to focus on opportunity.
The WPA was founded to bolster our nation’s infrastructure and to get the country in a position to grow, all the while chipping away at staggering unemployment rates. An aspect of the WPA that is celebrated by the art community is their poster campaigns under the Federal Art Project (1935). These posters were for the people, by the people, and were intended to get people inspired to travel on the improved roads and overall infrastructure from WPA projects. These campaigns highlighted America’s glory and called out the desirability of its attractions. “See America” adorned posters that could be seen all over the country.
The above images are from the Library of Congress. They are photos of actual prints from the WPA campaign. To see more, please visit their page: http://www.loc.gov/pictures/collection/wpapos/
Continental Mapping employees were the driving force behind a WPA-inspired campaign to “Map America.” “We map the globe, but we are an American company. We love our country’s rich infrastructure heritage, and we are fans of history, so this campaign sort of developed itself.”
Continental Mapping is always looking for simple, yet creative ways to tell our story - we map the world from earth, sky and space.