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Paper Drivers: 1942

Paper Drivers: 1942

May 1942. Washington, D.C. "Victory Program salvage drive. Schoolboy volunteers to go from house to home collecting scrap paper." Medium format nitrate negative by Marjory Collins for the Office of War Information. View full size.


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Was hoping someone would identify this street, but

Never did I dream it would be Ingleside Terrace, the street my mother, as a teenager, lived on with her family, in the early 1940's. Their house was in the 1820's block, and she no doubt would have passed by the house pictured many times. Perhaps those boys even knocked on her door before or after this photo was taken in order to ask for paper. Thank you so much for identifying it, Alsatian!

Enjoy it while you can

The house on the right with the nice porch is 1810 Ingleside Terrace NW in the Mount Pleasant neighborhood. Today, the nice porch has been removed and some of the elms have died. But the doors, window and roof of 1810 Ingleside are the same, the curved downhill street is the same, the rear of 1801 Newton has changed a lot, but the heights of things are the same, and far in the background behind the street sign you can see the front elevation of 3369 18th Street which is still the same.

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Tins, paper and grease

In Connecticut during WW2, we saved all of the above for the "drives" suitable for each. Tin cans had to have both ends removed and be flattened with a heavy foot (mine) and put in burlap bags which were cumbersome to lift, all paper was tied in bundles and cooking grease was sealed in lidded containers until collected. I believe the grease was used for making soap and other purposes, the tins for making alloys for weapons and the paper was reprocessed and reused. Even kids' metal toys were collected and very little was dumped in the garbage. Nothing was wasted for the war effort. An old New England jingle was "Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without."

Keep at it boys!

The amount of paper these boys collected was probably just enough for the government to recycle into a single form (in triplicate), requisitioning more scrap paper.

Which explains why...

...comic books from this period are so rare and valuable!

Paper drives

I remember well when the boy Scouts used to go door to door asking for newspapers since they could be sold for recycling. My grandparents saved all the newspapers they read for years and they filled an entire room in a barn out in the country and then one day a Boy Scout and his father drove up and asked for papers so my grandma said "My boy YOU JUST HIT THE JACKPOT" The Boy Scout filled his dads truck 3 or 4 times before he got them all!!

Paper drive

When I was in the Boy Scouts in the late 40s and early 50s we had an annual paper drive: our primary source of money.

People would have as much as a hundred newspaper bundles tied with string saved for us. It was a lot of fun and work.

The 1942 scrap paper drives were very successful.

Apparently so much scrap paper was collected no more was needed for quite some time.

Delivery Wagon

I used one of these to deliver the Evening Star in Glover Park DC from 1956-1961. It was well used by the time I got it but the highlight of the week was riding it empty downhill after finishing my route on Sunday morning. I went through alleys and across streets with the steel wheels clattering at 6:30 AM usually causing some row house bedroom lights to be turned on.

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