Sunday, September 13, 2020

Dr. Seuss: Starve the Squander Bug

During the Second World War, British illustrator Phillip Boydell created the Squander Bug character intended to discourage wasteful spending at home.

"The first of Boydell's six original Squander Bug sketches, here with its original name of the 'Money Grub.'"

In the United States, it was Dr. Seuss who reimagined the Squander Bug in a style we are all familiar with today. A 1943 banner poster shows a gluttonous creature in mirror images at either side (the dollar signs are not reversed). The Squander Bug personifies selfish domestic consumption. Thus the poster urges Americans to "Starve the Squander Bug" and to "Buy more war bonds." The implied assumption is that patriotic citizens already had bought some war bonds but that still more resources were needed for the war effort. Such calls for Americans to sacrifice a degree of short-term prosperity for a greater long-term good are rarely heard today.

Royal Books has a copy for sale:

Dr. Seuss
Starve the Squander Beast
Buy More War Bonds
Dr. Seuss

Note:  This poster remains available from Royal Books at the time of posting.

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