Sunday, November 22, 2009

~ Milkweed Silk & WWII ... & Trivia ... GIVEAWAY ~

GIVEAWAY ~Drawing tomorrow, enter on Nov. 16th post.
Yesterday Lilly commented on my Antietam Illumination post about milkweed silk for parachutes. This hit a bell in memory so I decided to look up some data ….

Country school children were given gunny sacks to gather milkweed pods so they could dry. They were harvested for the kapok inner silk & used for filling life vests for bouyancy for our troops. They were also used in gloves & jackets to keep the troops warm.
This plant is highly toxic, but one child's mom said it was ok to eat before the sun rose & shone on it ... hmmmmm! I am not so sure.

While I was reading this data I ran across a couple of interesting notes & my personal memories ~
**People were asked to save old tin cans & old cooking fats ... the reason was make explosives. Fat contains something like 10% to 20% glycerine, which is vey useful in making things go 'BOOM'!
**Tin foil was saved by school children from gum wrappers & cigarettes.
**V mail ~ the sender would write the message on a special form which was then microfilmed to reduce space/weight & flown across the Atlantic ... at the other end the microfilm was photogrphcally enlarged, printed & mailed to the recipient.
**Stars were hung in home windows to indicate they had a family member in the military & a gold one for a soldier lost while serving.
**Margarine was white like lard with a packet of yellow (like food coloring) 'stuff'. We would squeeze it into the margarine & have a ball squeezing it until it was a bright buttery yellow. To this day I dislike margarine.
**Nylon was rationed for the war, so rayon stocking (nylons) were in vogue. Many women literally painted their legs with some coloring & took their eyebrow pencils & drew a line up the back of their legs. Or, they would paint their 'bobby socks/anklets' onto their legs ... that would 'wash' off in the rain.
**How children would play war killing their 'enemies'.
**I actually remember the black outs in the eves when lights went out, but we had heavy draperies on our windows that blocked out the light ... brown outs when power was dimmed by
the utility companies.
**War Bonds cost 10 cents a stamp, & when the book was filled ($17.50 value) we were issued by the bank a $25 savings bond that matured in 10 years.
~~~Awwww ... memories hopefully NEVER to return to this country.
Raise her high, protect her wide, she is our land, we hold in pride. (written by me)


  1. Gad, I remember most of this. I was three and four at the time.
    We lived in Seattle and were fingerprinted and given 'dogtags' to wear just in case there was a bombing and we were lost.
    Ration coupons for coffee and shoes.

  2. Oh Marydon, I love your posts! They bring back so many memories... In my post today, I too mentioned the blackouts and air raids...having to do with my vintage Christmas lights and such... the stories my mama and daddy told us about rationing, saving fat, and foil, I will never forget... I too remember adding the little packet to the margarine... as a little girl, I always wanted real butter too! So many young people today don't have a CLUE what so many Americans went through... truly "the greatest generation"... Love to you... xoxo Julie Marie

  3. You brought me down Memory Lane with your post, adn it was fun thinking of all those things that I had forgotten for so long.

  4. I remember many of these. Some sort of funny in retrospect and some quite sad...The stars in the windows bring up some sad memories for many families of that period of time. We kids had to bring our pennies to school to help buy war bonds. (Is there never any end to war!) Great post! Hope your week is wonderful! Hugs, Coralie

  5. We still have the printed copies of my uncle's letters that were sent by v-mail. And I remember the margarine with the little belly-button of dye that we squeezed into the margarine and kneaded to color it. We kids used to argue over who got to do the kneading. If I remember correctly, colored margarine could not be sold in our state...the dairy farmers did not want the stuff to compete with real butter. Next state over, they had yellow margarine.

  6. Just popped in to say....
    Happy Thanksgiving!

  7. I lived in the country so don't remember anything but Milkweed.
    I am back but air pressure is doing a bad number on me with the fibro and I just am not up to posting.
    Have a blessed Thanksgiving.

  8. Interesting war time facts. Most of them were new to me.

  9. This is so interesting! I loved reading the info and memories. What a time.

  10. I love to learn new things about history and this was very interesting to read about, thanks, Maureen....

  11. I remember most, but the margarine I think sticks most in my mine.

  12. This was an interesting read Marydon. Thanks for sharing those memories.

    I enjoyed your post regarding the battlefield illumination too.

  13. Thanks for the memories. I recall those times very well. Did you have a little "aircraft spotter" card with silhouettes of enemy planes so you could identify them?

  14. In my opinion I think we have to try to look to some plants because we can get some fabolous species,I think that this information can learn us many important things about the nature.

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