I am not certain where I found this book, but it is a wonderful read.
The cartoons obviously are contemporary to the copyright date, 1942.
Some of the cartoons may not make much sense 74 years later, but basically humor is humor.
first cartoon in the book.
The US civilian Air Raid Wardens were probably based on the ones in Great Britain, as they had been doing it from around 1939. We did not declare war on anyone until after the Japanese nudged us into the war in December 1941.
In any case, can anyone imagine the Captains of industry, billionaire politicians and CEO’s in our time giving up an evening to be an Air Raid Warden? We might also mention the ‘dollar a year men’ who flocked to our nation’s capital to work in managing the huge war effort. They were the CEO’s, owners, managers, and industrialists of the 1940’s, and they offered their services to our government for the sum of a dollar a year.
Think about it. Their country had been attacked, and they put their combined efforts to defending their homes, and defeating the enemy.
Take a moment to try to name one well known billionaire who would bother to do that today.
I was a young boy during that war. After it was over, my brother and I found a Stirrup pump in the basement. We also found a tin helmet. There may have been an armband somewhere. We used the Stirrup pump for water fights. I understand now that our father must have been one of the Air Raid Wardens in our neighborhood. He never talked of it. He also never talked of his war related work. Back then no one talked about it, they just did it, and got on with life.
This is a Stirrup pump. I found the image on Etsy, and you can own it for $75.00.
As you can imagine it was great in water fights.
I also found this item online,
Quite a price difference. More on the OPA later.
Twenty days after the attack on Pearl Harbor, America instituted Rubber rationing. Here is an excerpt from an interesting blog, Sarah’s Blog.
To ensure enough rubber for military and vital civilian purposes, tire rationing was instituted on December 27, 1941. The program ran through December 31, 1945. Local Tire Rationing Boards issued certificates for tires or recapping upon application. Certificates for new tires were restricted to vehicles for public health and safety (medical, fire, police, garbage, and mail services), essential trucking (food, ice, fuel), and public transportation. Recapping was allowed at the discretion of the local board for any of the above, and occasionally for taxis and defense workers who shared rides. Civilians were allowed to keep five tires per automobile, and were required to surrender any others.
That probably accounts for the large number of cartoons about tires.
And finally, a Charles Addams’ cartoon on the subject.
About the OPA. The Office of Price Administration set prices for many items. I do remember some neighborhood women talking about how the local grocer would keep an eye out for the OPA volunteer and change prices to where they were supposed to be when he saw her approaching. I don’t know how true that yarn was, but if you look at the post card below, you can see how the Van Gorder family felt about OPA. That sign was still on the store in the mid fifties.
As the war went on, rationing and shortages were an obvious topic. Shortages in the labor force, as well as at the store.
There were scrap metal drives, rubber drives, and other collections to aid the war effort.
Obviously, the government shut down projects to divert resources to the war effort.
Speaking of the war effort, on the home front, we have the following cartoon. I guess the ladies were checking for possible hazards in case of bombing attacks.
Here are two enlargements, one showing the items one would expect to have on hand, and the other a map of the area of, I assume, responsibility for the office.
How about a parade.
And, a bit of detail to show the names.
Women in the workforce.
How many remember needing an operator to make a long distance call?
Notes from the war. Hitler’s allies, the Italians, may not have been quite as enthusiastic about fighting as were the Wehrmacht.
And speaking of Hitler, we have the following. As we now know, not only was Germany further along developing atomic weapons than previously thought, the Japanese were also tinkering with the concept. The Russians of course did not have to develop the item, as we were so kindly providing information to them, both above and below the table. So to speak.
There is a very good publication from google books, on how we made the bomb.
And of course, every GI’s question.
Let us not overlook the navy.
Not everyone served.
Of course, seventy plus years later, perhaps that would not be a problem. For one thing, there is no draft. And for another, well, let us just move along.
The New Yorker had its share of propaganda cartoons. I remember as a kid, seeing movies which explained why the Japanese had to be rounded up and placed in concentration camps. Not the Germans, nor the Italians, just the sneaky Jap bastards who bombed Pearl Harbor. I read an article recently about an actual Japanese spy who provided much detail for the attack on Pearl Harbor, and possibly also Hickam Field, on Ohau. After the war he was not a hero back in Japan. Many thought he had caused the deaths and destruction of their homelands, and he suffered.
In any case, we see the following.
We end with the last cartoon in the book.
Hope you enjoyed them.