Tea Revives the World – an illustrated poster from the 1940s

Tea Revives the World Poster 2

In the 1930s, to help promote the sale of empire goods, the International Tea Market Expansion Board was formed. Several colourful maps were commissioned by them from graphic designer cartographer, artist and architect MacDonald Gill to help illustrate the benefits of tea and tea drinking.

Gill was commissioned later on, too. His ‘Tea Revives the World’ map was produced as part of a campaign of reassurance that all would be well during the darkest days of the Second World War. Winston Churchill recognised that if supplies of tea did not reach servicemen and women fighting overseas and those at home working in factories and on the land, there would be a damaging loss of morale.  ‘Tea Revives the World’ implied a determination by the Allies to ‘Keep Calm and Carry On’ and to remind people that their cuppa was secure.


Tea Revives the World section 1

With its mixture of quirky information and schoolboy humour and packed with details of the leaves’ journey from bush to pot, Gill’s poster was a cheering rallying cry in a time of conflict.  It also throws light on the extraordinary story of tea and shows us its origins, its culture but most of all it shows what fun the human race has had with the drink that is second only to water in worldwide popularity.


Tea Revives the World section 5

Packed with snippets of history and amusing quotations it is just the thing to explore as you wait for the kettle to boil.


Tea Revives the World section 4


And so it was that at the height of the London Blitz, the ‘Tea Revives the World’ poster echoed the very British belief that ‘a nice cuppa’ is the best thing to improve morale. The sentiment still holds true.


Enter to win your own copy of ‘Tea Revives the World’


 10 February 2014 – UPDATE: And the winner is: LaRue Barnes!

LaRue answered the question  ‘How does a cup of tea improve your morale?’ by saying that:

“The first cup is comfort in the morning starting the day with my hands around a hot mug. Swishing the tea bag,and stirring in a little sugar and squeezing the bag all part of the familiar ritual. Tea is just right.”

LaRue wins a copy of the 1940 ‘Tea Revives the World’ map.

Congratulations, LaRue!



I have a lovely copy of the 1940 ‘Tea Revives the World’ map to give away!

For your chance to win, please leave a comment below about how or why a cup of tea improves your morale.


1. Open to everyone – I will post anywhere in the world

2. One comment per person

3. You must leave an email address where you can be contacted should you win

4. Deadline to enter is 11.59GMT Sunday 09 February 2014

5. I will use a random number generator to pick a winner on Monday 10 February 2014

6. Winner will be notified by email on Tuesday 11 February 2014


Good luck and I look forward to reading your comments!



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