Or are you looking for Search the Archives?

Please complete the form to email this item.

High heels mean accidents!

  • Object:

    Poster

  • Place of origin:

    London (published)

  • Date:

    ca. 1940s (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Branson, J. M. (designer)
    Eckersley, Tom OBE, born 1914 - died 1996 (designer)
    Loxley Bros. Ltd. (printers)
    Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (publishers)
    Ministry of Labour and National Service (issued by)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Colour lithograph

  • 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:

    E.247-2004

  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, level C, case MB3G, shelf DR6

During the war years, RoSPA's posters were commissioned by the Ministry of Labour, and were supplied to factories as part of the war effort to support Government policy. They were usually produced as part of a wider campaign, often with accompanying information booklets. Propaganda had to be produced within wartime budgets, and here is an example of a poster that has been printed on both sides for two different campaigns by two different designers. One side is aimed at women, encouraging them to wear sensible shoes at the factory, while the other emphasises the need for a clean and safe workplace. This approach meant that two posters could be produced using fewer resources, and that the poster could be reused for another safety campaign, as appropriate.

Physical description

Double-sided safety at work poster produced by RoSPA.
Recto: 'High heels mean accidents!', safety poster depicting two pairs of feet, one wearing high heels, the other flat shoes. The feet wearing white high heel court shoes are pictured at the top; the heel on the left shoe has become wedged between some floorboards. The flat shoes are pictured at the bottom of the poster, and are tied with red laces. The poster is printed in a simple colour scheme of buff, red and black on white. At the top of the poster, above the images in capitalised, black, letters are the words 'High heels'. Immediately below this, on the right hand side of the poster in smaller red letters is the word 'Mean'. Between the two images illustrating high- and low-heeled shoes, is the word 'Accidents!', in large red capital letters. At the bottom of the poster, in the same arrangement as the words at the top, are the words, 'Stand firm' in black, and 'At your work', in red. The poster is signed 'JMBranson' in the lower image.

Verso: This poster depicts a stylised cuboid-shaped oil drum, coloured red, black and green. The drum has the word 'Oil' incorporated onto its side. The top of the drum has part of a handle, and a circular lid. The lid has not been closed properly, allowing some of the green-coloured oil to spill and run over the side of the container, collecting in a puddle at the bottom. Beginning in this puddle, is the poster's slogan in large black letters, 'Wipe it up', and below this in slightly smaller red letters, 'Before it throws you down'. The artist has signed himself, 'Eckersley' along the top of the image.

Place of Origin

London (published)

Date

ca. 1940s (made)

Artist/maker

Branson, J. M. (designer)
Eckersley, Tom OBE, born 1914 - died 1996 (designer)
Loxley Bros. Ltd. (printers)
Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (publishers)
Ministry of Labour and National Service (issued by)

Materials and Techniques

Colour lithograph

Marks and inscriptions

'HIGH HEELS / MEAN / ACCIDENTS! / STAND FIRM / AT YOUR WORK'
Printed in black and red ink, interspersed with the images, recto.

'OIL / WIPE IT UP / BEFORE IT THROWS YOU DOWN'
Printed in black and red, verso.

'MLB/160'
The issue number (recto) printed in the lower left-hand corner, next to the Society's symbol, a cog and a triangle.

'MLB/159'
The issue number (verso) is printed in the lower left-hand corner, next to the Society's symbol, a cog and a triangle.

'Issued by the Ministry of Labour and National Service and produced by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, Terminal House, 52 Grosvenor Gardens, London S.W.1 / Printed by Loxley Bros. Ltd.'.
Printing and publishing information, printed at the bottom of the poster on both sides.

Dimensions

Height: 76.3 cm, Width: 50.5 cm

Descriptive line

Double-sided safety at work poster produced by RoSPA, designed by J. M. Branson (recto) and Tom Eckersley (verso), and printed by Loxley Bros. Ltd, United Kingdom, 1940s

Materials

Lithographic ink; Paper

Techniques

Lithography

Subjects depicted

Prevention; Accident; Containers; Floors; Laces; Safety; Oil; Health; Shoes (footwear); Feet

Categories

Prints; Propaganda; Health; Posters

Collection

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.