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Handy Helpers: 1942

Handy Helpers: 1942

May 1942. Southington, Connecticut. "Boys collecting paper and metal for scrap drive." Photo by Fenno Jacobs for the Office of War Information. View full size.


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Life On the Home Front

OTY has it exactly right, as does this photo. One of my earliest memories is of my grandmother, a stately lady of 5'10" and 200 lbs., doing just what OTY describes with tin cans, and the neighborhood "big kids" of five or six collecting them door-to-door with their Radio Flyers. There has not been such a level of public involvement in our armed struggles since then, and probably never shall be again.

Even the Bumpers of Automobiles.

Back in the 1960's one would occasionally see pre-1940's automobiles with their metal bumpers replaced by heavy wooden planks. My parents explained that patriotic citizens had donated their bumpers to the war effort.

Recycling is nothing new

Almost everyone did it in WW2. Those flattened items in the front of the wagon are tin cans from fruits, vegetables, etc. that were rinsed out, labels removed, both ends were cut out with a hand can opener (I don't think there were electric ones then) and then the can was stamped flat with one's foot. In my family I had the heavy foot. Of course, we also saved cooking grease, paper, rags, scrap metals, you name it. Everybody's contributions helped win the war.

Oh the humanity

All those old comic books that were thrown out, the first Supermans, etc, etc.... Little did they know what they would be worth now.

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