SALVAGE - Recycling, 1940's style


Home Sweet Home Front - 'Girl + Kitchen Waste for Pigs' Image

PICTURE: Officially encouraged by such characters as 'Superintendent Salvage' and 'Detective Inspector Waste', Children became willing helpers in the salvage drive.  

National Salvage Drives were an important feature of the wartime years.

The patriotic housewife was told to put her Salvage into four separate containers, consisting of;

TINS and METAL (earmarked for aircraft and tanks)

BOILED BONES (to be used to make glue for aircraft or glycerine for explosives)

KITCHEN WASTE (for feeding pigs)

PAPER (for recycling)


RAGS (if indeed there were any to collect - often the housewife's reply would be "we're wearing 'em!").

Residents were also asked to donate scrap metal.  Everything from old razor blades to iron garden railings were handed over.

A network of collection depots were created to house the items gathered.  Residents would often be reminded that

 "Every scrap of food stuff saved is a blow to Hitler's U-Boats which are out to starve us.

Here is your chance to beat the enemy in your own kitchen.  Put your reply to Hitler's threat

in the waste food bin"

Home Sweet Home Front - 'Kitchen Waste for Pigs' Image - Click on image to enlarge!


The Minister of Aircraft production Lord Beaverbrook encouraged citizens to hand over their aluminium pots and pans to build aircraft - A war on waste was declared.

Home Sweet Home Front - 'Boys collecting saucepans' Image

PICTURE:  Boys helping to do their bit for aircraft production

With this drive for the salvaging of household goods, many songs designed to keep up morale, were written - one such salvage song went;

“My saucepans have all been surrendered

the teapot is gone from the hob

the colander's leaving the cabbage

for a very much different job.

So now, when I hear the wireless 

of Hurricanes showing their mettle

I see in a vision before me

a Dornier chased by my kettle".

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