One of the most famous motivational posters out there – the “Keep Calm and Carry On” was made on the eve of WWII by the English to distribute in the event of a nation catastrophe. The poster featured the Crown of King George VI set against a bold red and actually was part of a collection of 3 other messages. “Freedom is in Peril”, “Your Courage, Your Cheerfulness, Your Resolution Will Bring Us Victory”, and “Keep Calm and Carry On”.
There were two-and-a-half million copies made of “Keep Calm and Carry On” made but they were never distributed. They instead were put into storage throughout the war, and never saw the light of day until 2000 when a copy was discovered by Stuart Manley, a bookseller from Northumberland.
He showed it to his wife and they liked it, so they framed it and put it up in their shop.
“I didn’t know anything about it but I showed it to my wife. We both liked it so we decided to frame it and put it in the shop,” explains Mr Manley.
“Lots of people saw it and wanted to buy it. We refused all offers but eventually we decided we should get copies made for sale.”
Sales were steady but nothing amazing – until 2005 when it was featured in as a Christmas gift idea in a national newspaper, and from there the rest is history!
Following the end of WWII, most of the posters are believed to have been pulped, never having seen the light of day. Only two original copies are known to have survived.
(via – BBC )