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Description found in Archives

Sub-series consists of




London, England

Place of creation

United Kingdom


Government of Great Britain

379 prints: lithographs, various dimensions.

Scope and content

The Empire Marketing Board was set-up in 1926 to promote trade between Great Britain and the Colonies and Dominions, and to encourage British people to buy Empire goods. Many well-known British and Dominion designers and artists, including E. McKnight Kauffer, Clive Gardiner, Harold Williamson, Charles Pears, and Canadian-born Austin Cooper, were commissioned to produce posters for use in advertising campaigns, primarily in Britain. Most posters were displayed in train stations, schools, shops, and factories. There were more than 800 posters or poster designs produced; these posters were colourful and painted a world of abundance and vitality. The Board had an educational as well as an advertsiing function: it went to schools, had its own library and produced around 100 films with titles such as "Wheatfields of the Empire" and solid sunshine, which promoted New Zealand butter. Its extensive publicity campaign also included lectures, radio broadcasts, films, exhibitions, and advertisements. The promotion of trade within the Empire was given a further boost in 1932 at an Imperial Economic Conference held in Ottawa to combat the effects of the Depression. The result was "Imperial Preference" - through which Britain and the Dominions granted each other favourable trade terms. The following year the Empire Marketing Board was axed as a result of govenerment cuts in Britain. The posters were produced both as single images, and as part of three- and five-part panoramas with additional superscript and sub-script text and images to accompany the main posters. This collection is one of the few remaining intact collections of images largely devoted to Canadian products, although the produce of other countries in the Commonwealth is also featured on many posters.

Other accession no.
1983-027 PIC

All posters and/or their component parts are described online in MINISIS-ICON. All posters are also photographed in black and white, and some have been copied in colour. 90 (Electronic)

Additional information

Custodial history
These posters were transferred to Public Archives of Canada by the Canadian Department of Industry, Trade and Commerce before April 5, 1933

Related materials
An exhibition of Empire Marketing Board posters entitled The Art of Persuasion: Posters of the Empire Marketing Board (en français: L'Art de Persuader: Affiches de l'Empire Marketing Board) was organized by Lydia Foy, and shown at National Archives of Canada from May 18 to August 10, 1990. A six-part foldout brochure featuring a short text and two five-part EMB posters was produced.

Subject heading

1. Advertising.
2. Trade and Commerce.