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World War Two - Home Front

Additional home front articles can be read here.

Tin Cans Go to War (Click Magazine, 1945)

This article is accompanied by nineteen pictures illustrating the various ways tin cans are put to use by the American military during W.W.II, and it was printed to show the necessity of full civilian participation along the home front. In order to guarantee that this message would get out to everyone, magazine editors would have been provided with these photographs and an assortment of facts by a government agency called the Office of War Information.


The American Home Front Finds Faith Again (Click Magazine, 1942)

By the time this article appeared on the newsstands at the close of 1942, the American people were fully committed to a war on two fronts that quite often was not generating the kinds of headlines they would have preferred to read. Certainly, there was the naval victory at Midway, but the butcher's bill was high at Pearl Harbor and North Africa and after a thirteen year lull in church attendance, America was once again returning to the church:


New York City Home Front (Yank Magazine, 1945)

This is a three page article concerning the city of New York from Yank's on-going series, "Home Towns in Wartime". The Yank correspondent, Sanderson Vanderbilt, characterized Gotham as being "overcrowded" (in 1945 the population was believed to be 1,902,000; as opposed to the number today: 8,143,197) and I'm sure we can all assume that today's New Yorkers tend to feel that their fore-bearers did not know the meaning of the word.

New York was the home base of Yank Magazine and this article presents a young man's view of that town and the differences that he can recall when he remembers it's pre-war glory (Sanderson tended to feel that the city looked a bit "down-at-the-heel").

Click here if you would like to read an article about the celebrations in New York the day World War Two ended.


Home Front Philadelphia (Yank Magazine, 1944)

"You can boil down nearly all the changes that have taken place in Philadelphia since Pearl Harbor to one word: prosperity."

"In 1940 the average factory worker in Philadelphia was making $27 a week and the city's total factory pay roll was 393 millions. In 1943 Philadelphia's factory workers averaged $48 a week and the total factory payroll was one and a quarter billions...The Philadelphia social life, too, has taken a terrific shot in the arm..."

Read about Wartime San Francisco.

Click here to read about wartime Washington, D.C..


American Makeup Goes to War (Click Magazine, 1942)

An interesting look at the beauty products used by American women during the Second World War and how that war effected the cosmetic industry. Students of history will be reminded that when a nation commits itself to a state of total war, all available elements within a government's grasp will be picked over by that country's military; even makeup.

"If you're following a routine of 'beauty as usual' with qualms of conscience, believing that cosmetics and toiletries use materials essential to the war machine, know for certain that if Uncle Sam needed your lipstick for bombs and bullets, he'd have gotten it first."

The U.S. cosmetics industry was effected in many ways, read the article and find out.

Click here to read an article about a popular 1940s hairstyle.

CLICK HERE to read about the beautiful "Blonde Battalions" who spied for the Nazis...


The Photograph (Yank Magazine, 1943)

Attached you will find a few well-chosen words about that famous 1943 photograph that the censors of the War Department saw fit to release to the American public. The image was distributed in order that the "over-optimistic and complacent" citizens on the home front gain an understanding that this war is not without a cost.

A haunting image even sixty years later, the photograph depicts three dead American boys washed-over by the tide of Buna Beach, New Guinea. The photographer was George Strock of Life Magazine and the photograph did it's job.

Click here to read General Marshall's end-of-war remarks about American casualty figures.


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