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Over recent years, in gift shops and online retailers, there has been an explosion in one theme: ‘keep calm wallpaper and Carry On’. Originally a poster from Britain during the Second World War, you can now buy the simple but reassuring message on almost anything, ready for display in your house or office. There’s just one small problem: the poster wasn’t used during the war, and hardly anyone ever saw it. Thanks to doctoral research from Dr. Rebecca Lewis, we now know the story.
In 1939, it became apparent to many people in Britain that a war on the continent was inevitable. Hitler had broken promise after promise, and there seemed little chance he wouldn’t take a decision which provoked war. backgrounds keep calm. To this end, Britain’s Ministry of Information decided that one thing which might suffer during the war, especially during the aerial bombardment many had calculated would cause massive losses, was the civilian morale. backgrounds keep calm. To this end it was decided – although not without objections to create five million morale boosting posters which could be quickly pasted up.
So why is this poster so well known in Britain, and growing popularity elsewhere? In 2000, the owner of Barter Books purchased a box of potential stock at an auction, and found an original Keep Calm and Carry On poster at the bottom. backgrounds keep calm. He put it up behind the desk, and after being inundated with requests, printed a few more, and then after gaining government permission released a modern version.
No trademark was sought, and others jumped on the bandwagon. Thanks to Britain’s nostalgia for the idea of plucky wartime Brits keeping backgrounds keep calm, a twenty first century icon was born out of a failed wartime idea barely anyone actually saw. But thanks to the poster, and now the mugs etc. etc., people believe this was a key wartime edict. And, of course, people did just what the poster said just without the poster. we also have other keep calm and carry on image ready as lwp for you.
If you are moving to the UK to teach, learning more about British culture is a must. There are some quirky things in British history that the people are very much proud of with the catchphrase “keep calm wallpaper and Carry On” being part of that. For decades, this saying has been used to motivate Brits to keep moving forward. You will find this slogan and many other imitations adopted in the same style all over the UK, but what is the story of this simple motto that encourages the people to keep going?
Origins of “Keep Calm and Carry On” During the Second World War, the British Government formed the Ministry of Information as a means of developing publicity and propaganda. When war broke out in 1939, it was up to the Ministry of Information to create several posters designed for boosting morale amongst the British public who were still wary after the First World War. They were to be displayed all over Britain in prominent places where they could not be missed.
2.45 million of copies of keep calm wallpaper and Carry On posters were printed and were to be displayed in the event of Germany invading Britain. Although the Blitz took place in 1940 and 1941, the third poster in the series was hardly seen publicly since it was a “reserve” poster. The idea was to get them out quickly as a fresh boost of morale if there was an attack. There was one indication of it being hung in a shop window in Leeds as reported in a local paper at the time.
It was only in 2000 when an original copy was found in a bookstore in Alnwick hidden within some dusty old books. Since then, more have been found, but there are still very few surviving original copies from the print in 1939. It is thought that the rest may have been destroyed towards the end of the war in 1945 in the paper salvage that was taking place.