|Uncle Sam Wilson|
This fellow is Samuel Wilson of Troy NY. During the war of 1812, he supplied meat to the US government through a contract with Ed Anderson of New York. The barrels of meat, shipped down the Hudson and also sold locally to a local army post were stamped "E.A.-US".
Story has it that the US, instead of just referring to the United States, was also nicknamed to be "Uncle Sam's" as in Uncle Sam Wilson's meat. The local Troy paper picked up the story and it spread to the point that anything marked US was an Uncle Sam. The rest you kinda know; how the cartoonist Thomas Nast supposedly came up with the first caricature of Uncle Sam (Nast was the guy who also drew Santa Claus kinda the way we think of him) but that turns out not to be true. The idea of how we view Uncle Sam seems to have been here and there all during the 19th century. Here is one from 1897.
A little know fact is that the 13th verse of Yankee Doodle goes like this:
|J. M. Flagg's 1917 poster, based on the|
original British Lord Kitchener poster of
three years earlier, was used to recruit
soldiers for both World War I and World
War II. Flagg used a modified version of
his own face for Uncle Sam, and veteran
Walter Botts provided the pose.