Today, the United States is home to 59 national parks, designated protected areas for the enjoyment of the general public or the preservation of wildlife. The U.S. Congress is responsible for establishing National Parks, the first being Yellowstone in 1872.

In the mid-1930, at the height of the Great Depression, the Works Progress Administration and its Federal Arts Project was tasked with designing a series of inspirational posters to promote the landscapes and wildlife of America’s parks. Here is just a handful from the collection stored at the Library of Congress to celebrate 100 years since the National Park Service (NPS) was founded. 

When you’re broke, but at least you’ve got nature

Montana, United States Travel Bureau, late 1930s.

Montana, United States Travel Bureau, late 1930s.

Grand Canyon national park poster, National Park Service, circa 1938

Grand Canyon national park poster, National Park Service, circa 1938

Old Faithful erupting at Yellowstone national park, circa 1938

Old Faithful erupting at Yellowstone national park, circa 1938

Two bighorn sheep invite travelers to national parks, 1939.

Two bighorn sheep invite travelers to national parks, 1939.

Zion national park features on a poster circa 1938

Zion national poster, 1938.

The Arches national park in Utah, late 1930s.

The Arches national park in Utah, late 1930s.

Lassen Volcanic national park and the Lassen erupting, 1938.

Lassen Volcanic national park and the Lassen erupting, 1938.

Fort Marion in Florida, 1938.

Fort Marion in Florida, 1938.

Poster promoting tourism in America, late 1930s.

Poster promoting tourism in America, late 1930s.

All life is sacred in the national park, 1940.

All life is sacred in the national park, 1940.

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Copyright 2016 ZME Science

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