Posters As Evidence

Like any kind of artifact, advertising posters provide physical evidence of the intentions, perspectives, values, and tastes of the people who made and used them. The posters in this exhibition tell us about how agricultural machinery evolved, how farm equipment manufacturers competed with one another and how they attracted customers, and how changes in printing technology and graphic design altered the visual culture of America.

Our understanding of the McCormick-International Harvester poster collection is still evolving. Society archivists have just begun the task of organizing, conserving, and describing the collection. While some treasures are posted on this site, many remain to be discovered. We do, however, know that the poster collection is one of the preeminent national resources for studying the history of 19th- and 20th-century advertising.

Printing McCormick Company posters, ca. 1900
Printing McCormick Company posters, ca. 1900
Visual Materials Archive, Wisconsin Historical Society,
WHi(IHFF)495

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