Clothing and Scrap Drives
In addition to food rationing, supplies needed for war production were also in shortage and were rationed. To combat this, American communities were asked to collect all of their scrap metal to send to war production plants. Towns held scrap drives and were given a quota as to how much scrap metal and rubber needed to be collected. Scrap drives were a popular way to get everybody involved in the war effort as well as collect materials needed for war production. The first national scrap drive was for rubber, as the United States' main source of rubber came from Asia, which was largely controlled by Japan and therefore unavailable for export. Scrap metal was also highly sought after, as war production plants needed a large amount of steel to produce ships, tanks, aircraft, and weapons. Additionally, housewives were targeted in a campaign to save excess cooking fats, as they were used in the production of explosives. Citizens could donate their scraps to the government, but they were also encouraged to sell their scrap and use the money to buy war bonds, donate to the Red Cross, or a more local charity.
In 1942, the first nationwide push to collect scrap metal began. Solicitors contacted farmers for their excess metal. Collecting scrap was a very popular activity for young boys to do to be involved in the war effort. In Story City, scrap drives manifested as "Junk Days" where citizens were encouraged to bring their scrap metal and rubber to a designated spot in the community. Dr. Alfred H. Lekwa was the Chairman for the Local Salvage Committee responsible for advertising and running scrap drives, before he left for active military service. August 27, 1942, was Story City's first "Junk Day."
Rubber was also collected in Story City and used to make tires for Jeeps, planes, and other vehicles. Citizens were solicited for their scraps, and it was emphasized that donating rubber was yet another way to further the war effort.
Scrap Advertisements in the Story City Herald
Clothing Drives in Story City
During the Second World War, many American communities felt the hardships of the war, but realized that Europeans also needed help. Relief drives were set up to send war-stricken Europeans funds, supplies, and clothing. Due to Story City's Norwegian heritage, Story Citians were especially partial to the plight of Norway. Norway had been occupied by the Nazis in 1940, and the Germans had cut off Norway's access to trading with other countries. The Nazis also confiscated a large amount of Norwegian output.
Due to the lack of imports and exports, Norway's economy crumbled, and they became subject to extreme shortages and rationing. It became nearly impossible to buy commercial clothing in Norway, so the United National Clothing Collection was established in the United States to send clothing overseas. Throughout the war and even after the Allied victory, Story City organized clothing drives to send to its "Mother Country."
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