Or are you looking for Search the Archives?

Please complete the form to email this item.

Poster - "Watch that prop... what prop?"
  • "Watch that prop... what prop?"
    Ministry of Aircraft Production
  • Enlarge image

"Watch that prop... what prop?"

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    United Kingdom (made)

  • Date:

    1943 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Ministry of Aircraft Production (issued by)
    James Haworth & Brother Ltd. (printers)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    colour lithograph in blue and gold

  • Credit Line:

    Gift of the American Friends of the V&A; Gift to the American Friends by Leslie, Judith and Gabri Schreyer and Alice Schreyer Batko

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, level C, case 1B, box LS3

This World War II era propaganda poster issued by the Ministry of Aircraft Production relied on a playful image to convey a serious message - carelessness on the aircraft production line could lead to serious injury or death. The poster also trades on the public's familiarity with the Ministry of Information's "Carless Talk Costs Lives" campaign, which promoted prudence and secrecy, by adapting its strap line to read "Careless Walk Costs Lives," placing emphasis this time on bodily precautions.

Physical description

Cartoon illustration of a man beheaded by an aviation propeller.

Place of Origin

United Kingdom (made)


1943 (made)


Ministry of Aircraft Production (issued by)
James Haworth & Brother Ltd. (printers)

Materials and Techniques

colour lithograph in blue and gold

Marks and inscriptions

WATCH THAT PROP... what prop?

Careless Walk Costs Lives
caption across lower margin


Height: 38.2 cm, Width: 27.8 cm

Descriptive line

World War II propaganda poster promoting safety in the workplace - especially around aircraft. UK, 1943.


Paper; Ink

Subjects depicted

Safety; Airplanes; War; Head; Propeller; Propaganda


Prints; Propaganda; Posters


Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

Large image request

Please confirm you are using these images within the following terms and conditions, by acknowledging each of the following key points:

Please let us know how you intend to use the images you will be downloading.