A blue eagle logo created by the US government in 1933 urged consumers to spend money only where companies displayed the NRA symbol on shop windows, packages and advertising.
The National Recovery Administration (NRA) was one of a constellation of federal agencies that made up President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal program to help Americans recover from the Great Depression.
Established in 1933 in an effort to spur industrial recovery, the NRA sought to use government power to restrain competition and end the downward cycle of wage cuts and price reductions, without abolishing the free market.
The NRA was created by The National Industrial Recovery Act of 1933 (NIRA), passed by the US Congress, authorized the President to regulate industry for fair wages and prices that would stimulate economic recovery.
The NIRA, which created the NRA, declared that codes of fair competition should be developed through public hearings, and gave the Administration the power to develop voluntary agreements with industries regarding work hours, pay rates, and price fixing. The NRA was put into operation by an executive order, signed the same day as the passage of the NIRA.
The Administration asked businesses, labor, and consumers to help write new codes for hour limits, minimum wages, and production standards. To encourage voluntary adoption of these new codes, participating businesses were allowed to display a blue eagle logo, and consumers were urged to spend money only where the symbol was displayed on shop windows, packages and advertising.
Businesses that supported the NRA did not always go along with the regulations entailed. Though membership to the NRA was voluntary, businesses that did not display the eagle were very often boycotted, making it seem mandatory for survival to many.
In 1935, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously declared that the NRA law was unconstitutional, ruling that it infringed the separation of powers under the United States Constitution.
Can you spot the NRA logo in these advertisements published in Popular Mechanics, November, 1933?
Charles Atlas, the “World’s Strongest Man” was a frequent advertiser in Popular Mechanics. The NRA logo wasn’t included in his advertisements. Read about him in this post