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A range of items proclaiming the Second World War Slogan "KEEP CALM, CARRY ON" , straight and humorous
The poster was initially produced by the Ministry of Information, at the beginning of the Second World War. It was intended to be distributed in order to strengthen morale in the event of a wartime disaster and in particular German Invasion.. Over 2,500,000 copies were printed, although the poster was distributed only in limited numbers, and never saw public display. as the threat of invasion waned.
In 2000, Stuart Manley, co-owner with his wife Mary of Barter Books Ltd. in Alnwick, Northumberland, was sorting through a box of used books bought at auction when he uncovered one of the original "Keep Calm and Carry On" posters. The couple framed it and hung it up by the cash register; and it attracted so much interest that Manley began to produce and sell copies. Other companies followed suit, and the design rapidly began to be used as the theme for a wide range of products.
It is believed that most of the Keep Calm posters were destroyed and reduced to a pulp at the end of the war in 1945. However, nearly 60 years later, a bookseller from Barter Books stumbled across a copy hidden amongst a pile of dusty old books bought from an auction. A small number also remain in the National Archives and the Imperial War Museum in London, and a further 15 were discovered in the BBC's Antiques Roadshow to have been given to Moragh Turnbull, from Cupar, Fife, by her father William, who served as a member of the Royal Observer Corps.
By 2015 the popularity of this theme seemed to be on the wane.