By Hayley Pugh 

If you’re struggling to keep your New Year’s Resolutions already, these bold motivational posters from 90 years ago might be just what you need!


Forget mindfulness and Feng shui, these colourful posters, are an insight into self-improvement 1920s style.

The images, which were often used in the workplace, are the epitome of positivity with titles including ‘think before you act’, ‘knowalls never learn’ and ‘self control earns much praise.’

Parker-Holladay, a now defunct print company, was one producer of these vibrant placards, which were made on a subscription basis for business owners to display and disseminate to their employees.


Bill Jones, a fictional character created by Parker-Holladay, encouraged punctuality, good self-care, courtesy and teamwork, amongst a raft of other virtues, helping to instill best practice and positive mental attitude in the workplace and beyond.


Popular in their day, the striking posters fell from favour following the Wall Street Crash and the ensuing Great Depression of 1929.

However, almost a century later, many of these incentivisation messages are still pertinent today.

Other titles in the collection, from the Mary Evans Picture Library, include ‘Don’t resent being told’, ‘see the other fellow’s side’ and ‘disputes get you nowhere.’