'When Handling Arms Look First. Prevent Accidents', 1943 (c)
Colour lithograph information poster, after Abram Games (1914-1996), printed for HM Stationary Office by T.G. Porter (Printers) Ltd, Leeds.
Born in 1914 to Latvian and Russo-Polish parents in Whitechapel, East London, Abram Games joined the Army in 1939 and was quickly designated the role of draughtsman. By 1942 he had been promoted to captain and was the only Official War Poster Artist for the rest of the Second World War.
After the war his freelance career went from strength to strength with commissions for the Festival of Britain, the United Nations, Shell, Guinness and the BBC. After a career spanning over 60 years, Games died in 1996 leaving a legacy of daring, distinctive and elegant images.
Justly famous for his innovative and bold poster commissions, Games claimed that the perfect design employed 'maximum meaning, minimum means'.
As Official War Artist Games produced about 100 extraordinary posters for the British Army, ranging in theme from recruitment, through to personal hygiene and post-war re-training. This poster warns soldiers to check that their weapon is empty and safe. The text reads, 'is there anything 'up the spout'?' and 'is that magazine really empty?'
From a collection of 45 posters from World War Two (1939-1945).
NAM Accession Number
National Army Museum, London
National Army Museum, Study collection