Vignette Proof for BEP Certificate, “Eyes for the Navy”, UNIQUE


Before World War I, America imported most of its optical goods from Germany and Austria. Following the nations entry into the war, the US Navy faced a severe shortage of binoculars, telescopes, and spyglasses. Franklin D. Roosevelt, then Secretary of the Navy, initiated the Eyes for the Navy program to which American citizens loaned their glasses, binoculars, and telescopes. In his appeal to the public, Roosevelt alluded to German U-boat attacks, stating that more eyes are needed on shipboard than ever before to maintain the constant and efficient lookout for the submarine. Americans donated over 51,000 glass objects to the program. The US Navy recorded the name and address of the donor and engraved a serial number on each object. As the government was required to pay for all services and materiel, donors received one dollar for the rental of their glasses. After the war, the glasses were returned to their owners with an engraved certificate signed by Franklin D. Roosevelt. The certificate featured a detail from this poster, the image of a blindfolded Navy officer. The artist, Gordon Grant, was a well-known marine and naval painter who produced a number of posters for the US Navy during the conflict.

Unique item. Only die proof engraving is included. Poster and Certificate NOT INCLUDED

Note: this is an ORIGINAL die-sunk proof; not a reproduction or contemporary print. Your satisfaction is guaranteed.

Additional information


Bureau of Engraving and Printing


excellent, with BEP control #939988 on reverse


February 15, 1919


india on card


6" x 8"




based on a painting by Gordon Grant

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