Every year on the first weekend in September, we all get a day off thanks to workers who fought long and hard for a five-day work week and against unfair labor laws, even banning child labor. The holiday is rooted in the late 1800s, when labor activists pushed for a federal holiday to recognize the many contributions workers have made to America. American workers and milestone programs like those created by Franklin D. Roosevelt to jump-start the economy during the Depression—the Works Progress Administration, the Civilian Conservation Corps and others—are celebrated in posters from the 1930s and 1940s. They are great collectibles today! Here are a few we found as we approach Labor Day 2021.

american labor party roosevelt lehman vote poster

American Labor Party poster, supporting the presidential ticket of Franklin D. Roosevelt and Herbert H. Lehman, William Sanger, 1936, 24 1/4 x 34 1/2 in., $7,250.  Photo: Swann Auction Galleries


united for victory franklin d roosevelt winston churchill wpa poster

Works Progress Administration poster, “United for Victory,” “Liberty for All,” “Democracy Shall Not Die,” and “God Gave Us Courage / America Gave Us Strength.” Celebrates the partnership between Franklin D. Roosevelt and Winston Churchill in the wake of the Lend-Lease Act during World War II, off-set print, Glen Osborn, 1942, 20 1/2 x 16 1/4 in., $250.  Photo: PBA Galleries


women work for victory 1942 wpa poster

Works Progress Administration poster, “Women Work for Victory,” “Farm, Office, Factory,” “Apply nearest U.S. Employment Service Office or State Defense Council, Hartford.” Predates “Rosie the Riveter” but addresses the same wartime need to have women join the workforce to replace men who have joined the military and gone overseas to fight, silkscreen, artist unknown, marked on bottom “A Conn. WPA Poster,” 1942, 26 x 18 in., $2,250.  Photo: Swann Auction Galleries



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