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Parcel Post: 1941

Parcel Post: 1941

July 1941. "Buying stamps in post office. Siren, Wisconsin." Medium format acetate negative by John Vachon for the Farm Security Administration. View full size.


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Attention to Detail

The inattention to detail of the letters "P" may be a matter of black and white.

Inattention to Detail

Someone's clearly not minding their Ps. Given their sorry state, one can only imagine the condition of the Qs.

Recruiters not sweating too much

In September of 1940 Congress passed the first peacetime military draft in US history. The Selective Training and Service Act of 1940 made all able bodied men between ages of 21-36 eligible for conscription into the army as part of the national rearmament program. The draft actually went into effect in October of that year. By the summer of 1941 the draft in combination with military contracts poring out of Washington faster than they could be filled or even accepted had effectively ended the Great Depression in the United States. Unemployment was still near 20% when the draft first went into effect. However by the time this photo was taken it had dropped below 4% and by November (by which time the US was in a state of de-facto war with Germany on the Atlantic) the country was effectively at full employment. The draft would later be extended to men between 18-45 for the duration of the war. The Navy and Marines however did not accept draftees so they still had get their men the old fashioned way.

Siren Tornado

Siren suffered a devastating tornado in 2001, killing three, injuring 16 and damaging or destroying 240 buildings. No wonder when you look at their downtown, most structures don't appear to be old.

Advantages of Being a Soldier

The soldier story flyer on the wall --

High Finance

The stamps look like the 1938 Presidential Issue 1-cent George Washington:

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