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Hard Licker: 1942

Hard Licker: 1942

July 1942. East Montpelier, Vermont. "Richard, age 5, son of the farmer Charles Ormsbee, has his own war project -- he has agreed to lick all the savings stamps for the family." Photo by Fritz Henle, Office of War Information. View full size.


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We've seen Richard Ormsbee before

Richard Ormsbee

Richard Lee Ormsbee passed away in East Montpelier on October 26, 1994.


That looks like oilcloth covering that table. That's what we always had on tables maybe 50 years ago or so. I guess they still make a similar product... though of pvc today. It probably no longer has that distinctive smell.

Bonus for Uncle Sam

As recently as the mid 60s I had three or four books half filled with 10c stamps. Always intended to do something with them, never did. Through a half dozen moves, they've long disappeared. Well, that's a dent in the National Debt, anyway.

Home and family is the answer

I love everything about this photo because it takes me back, way back, to the way we were in the war years. We dinosaurs love to reminisce and tell the kids today how it used to be, but this picture tells a story with no words. Growing up in New England, (Ct., not Vermont) family values then and there meant all for one and one for all. Everyone in the household contributed something of themselves and the selfless spirit of co-operation bound them together like glue. The adult at this table is probably the mom of the family doing her required budgeting with beautiful penmanship. We actually learned how to handle a budget and distribute our imagined income in grade 6 and it was exemplified just like this. We also purchased savings stamps in school every Friday. The coins from the milk bottle bank will accumulate until stamps are affordable, then the full book buys a bond. The Victorian chairs were probably passed down from Grandma and the made-to-last cabinet looks home-made with love, with sturdy hardware to be functional forever. The clean tablecloth, the wonderful old fountain pen, the loose leaf notebook and the strict financial records with receipts kept, indicate a very efficient and well-managed typical WW2 farm family. The very best feature is that sweet little boy, conscientiously doing his job for the benefit of his own household, which effectively raised his own self-confidence and ability to go on to bigger future accomplishments.


Most kindergarteners are still stuck eating paste.

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