USM Open Source History Text: The World at War: World History 1914-1945

Light of Progress

If there was one country that seemed to fully embrace technology and the broader industrial revolution of the late 19th century, it was Germany. Here we see a poster for the German General Electric Company. The symbolism is powerful -- an angel holding the light aloft -- clearing away clouds, banishing night. Sparks fly out from behind an electrically-powered wheel, representing the force of technology. The implication of this piece is that human progress, begun in classical times, is now reaching a new stage -- a stage in which humankind is now in power, master of the forces of nature. The optimism of the poster is palpable.

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