A World War II poster: "Starve the Squander Bug," 1943

Starve the Squander Bug, a World War II poster encouraging Americans to buy war bonds, 1943 (GLC09524)Before he became world-renowned as Dr. Seuss for his children’s books and illustrations, Theodor Geisel worked for the US government during World War II designing posters such as this one, encouraging patriotism and investment.

The Squander Bug character first appeared in British World War II propaganda to discourage careless spending. American posters, like this one, encouraged citizens to spend their money on war bonds to help fund the war effort. Bonds issued by the government helped finance military expenses and were also a way to remove money from circulation to help control inflation.