Books, Film, History Class, Publishing, Uncategorized, World War 2, Writer's Life

“Scrap -Happy Daffy”: Salvage, Scrap and Cartoons in WWII

Welcome to Wednesday, and the last special post in the countdown to my book’s launch!

Tomorrow, I’ll post one last Question of the Day and links to the old ones, but be aware, opportunities to enter the giveaway end at 12 noon PST, so make certain you get your answers in before then!

A peek at the prizes…

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Each prize package includes a free copy of my e-book (sorry, Kindle not included), a $10 Amazon giftcard to spend as you please, and a little something else from history (details in previous posts)

…and on to a new topic.

In 1942, the Allies were already running short on essential supplies.

German U-boats and Japanese advances in the Far East cut off vital imports like rubber. Steel and aluminum were needed for factories to produce millions of necessary canteens…and for ammunition…and for ships. Food and sugar were necessary for army rations. And the army needed copper too, and glycerine and…

The call went out to the home front.

The people of home front answered.
Courtesy of the Library of Congress

Citizens planted “victory gardens” to provide additional food for their tables, and adjusted their family’s eating habits to rationing of key items like sugar. They saved household fats to make glycerine- necessary for explosives.

Communities organized drives to collect people’s waste in an effort to alleviate shortages. Part of the beauty of salvage and scrap drives was that anyone could participate in them. One of my books has a photo of American women sitting down on the curb to remove their stockings in answer to a nylon drive. In Britain, groups collected everything down to decorative metal railings in front of houses. Children could help round up paper, rubber and tin.

Unfortunately, not all of the scrap collected was of the best quality, and therefore not all could be used. I’ve come across several tales of people seeing piles of scrap the community collected sitting, unused.

Still, while all of the drives might not have provided goods that were needed at the moment, they did provide a sense of involvement for people on the Homefront- a sense that they could do something to help support their loved ones who were in danger far away.

The film industry did it’s bit to promote Homefront involvement. Big companies like Disney and Warner Brothers produced films for the troops and civilians to entertain, inform, and encourage.

The following is little film my husband and I came across in a collection of Looney Tunes films from Warner Brothers, in which Daffy Duck stresses the importance of Americans saving their scrap.

Be aware, modern viewers, the 1943 film is absolutely a product of it’s time- heavy on patriotic propaganda and more than a little unflattering to Axis enemies. However, whether Daffy inspires you to go on a recycling binge or not, seeing this loony toon in a heroic role, facing down Hitler’s “secret weapon” (apparently, even farm-yard animals were in his employ!) is an interesting experience! 🙂

 

AND NOW, it’s time for another Question of the Day!

First, though, here are the giveaway rules.

*If you’d like to enter the drawing to win one of the giveaway prizes, answer the “Question of the Day” either in the comments here, on Twitter @anneclarewriter (make sure you tag me!) or on my Facebook Author Page.

-Up to one entry per Question of the Day per participant! 

-The giveaway is limited to U.S. residents. (Sorry! International laws for prizes get very complicated very quickly 😦 ) 

-Entrants under 18 years of age must have parental permission.

-All entries will be counted at noon PST on Thursday, June 27th. No entries after this time will be accepted.

-Winners will be announced on June 28th on this site.

This giveaway is in no way endorsed by WordPress or any other online entity- it’s just a “thank you” from me!

Question of the Day: What is one item that was collected during scrap or salvage drives? 

 

I’ll take answers from previous “Question of the Day” entries until the giveaway closes- here are the link to those posts:

Writing About the Army as a Civilian- How Hard Could It Be?

The Red Cross: “In War, Charity”

Playing Cards and Plane Spotting

Musical Interlude: “Sentimental Journey”

Whether you are entering the giveaway or not, I’d love to hear from you! Do you have any scrap drive stories? Too many pieces of “salvage” in your home that you just can’t get rid of? (Raises hand :))

In any case, thanks so much for visiting.

-Anne

 

If you’re interested in reading more on today’s topic, here are a few sources that I found helpful and interesting.

“Take a Closer Look: America Goes to War” from the National WWII Museum in New Orelans, Louisianna- particularly the section on the Homefront

“Salvage” by Dunstable Towne Centre- one of many recollections of Britain’s WW2 experiences saved in the BBC “People’s War” archive

Make It Do- Scrap Drives in WWII by author Sarah Sundin

 

Also, if you’re interested in pre-ordering my e-book, here is a link and description. The paperback will also be available soon!

1943

All that Sergeant James Milburn wants is to heal. Sent to finish his convalescence in a lonely village in the north of England, the friends he’s lost haunt his dreams. If he can only be declared fit for active service again, perhaps he can rejoin his surviving mates in the fight across Sicily and either protect them or die alongside them.

All that Evie Worther wants is purpose. War has reduced her family to an elderly matriarch and Charles, her controlling cousin, both determined to keep her safely tucked away in their family home. If she can somehow balance her sense of obligation to family with her desperate need to be of use, perhaps she can discover how she fits into her tumultuous world.

All that Charles Heatherington wants is his due. Since his brother’s death, he is positioned to be the family’s heir with only one step left to make his future secure. If only he can keep the family matriarch happy, he can finally start living the easy life he is certain he deserves.

However, when James’s, Evie’s and Charles’s paths collide, a dark secret of the past is forced into the light, and everything that they have hoped and striven for is thrown into doubt.

Weaving in historical detail from World War II in Britain, Italy and Egypt, Whom Shall I Fear? follows their individual struggles with guilt and faith, love and family, and forces them to ask if the greatest threat they face is really from the enemy abroad.

9 thoughts on ““Scrap -Happy Daffy”: Salvage, Scrap and Cartoons in WWII”

  1. Hi Anne – well done you’ve certainly done yourself proud here … loved the Daffy Duck short – while the give-aways … look fun … good luck with the book launch – cheers Hilary

    Liked by 1 person

  2. great stuff. I have studied World War 2 for decades and it’s something that is so fascinating to look back on. As you well know after world war 1 the United States had in large part become as isolationist country and we not prepared or desired a second war. My grandmother worked in an ammunition plant.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! Yes- it is interesting looking at the years leading up to U.S. involvement- and how Pearl Harbor just galvanized everyone, isn’t it?
      Oh interesting! My grandpa served in the ETO, even though his division was supposed to go to the Pacific (until the Battle of the Bulge happened…)

      Liked by 1 person

      1. One of the things I have often found interesting is those who claim FDR was aware of the horrible concentration camps. Even if he was there was nothing he could have done to stop them. The thing was most people had no idea where Pearl Harbor was. The attack on Pearl Harbor wasn’t well thought out. Why didn’t the Japanese blow up the fuel supply tanks?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Hmmm, yes, I wonder how much the politicians were aware of? But as you say, what could be done except for what was- going back into Europe to liberate them? (Though I’m sure people who’ve studied this more than I have ideas.) I recall reading that word started coming out about the camps in the early 40s, but many American troop memoirs I’ve read said they just didn’t believe the stories could be true- until they saw them 😦
        Yes, they definitely missed some prime targets at Pearl Harbor- glad for that! 🙂

        We actually got to visit Pearl Harbor this year, which was amazing. There were pictures of the models etc from

        Like

  3. I think there’s a collection of these cartoons out, isn’t there? at least from Warner Bros. Hmm, wonder if Disney every put anything out. The Snafu cartoons are hilarious too, and yet you can get the severity of their teaching points pretty fast.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Whooo yes, Sgt. Snafu is quite the fella! I don’t know if they’ve been released, or where I saw them… but we have all the “Loony Toons” collections, which include a bunch of the WWII stuff. Hats off to the hubby for suggesting one for a blog post some time.

      Liked by 1 person

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