Category Archives: School Farm

Conservation and Canning on the Homefront

Propaganda poster encouraging those on the Homefront to can and preserve food.

The national movement in preparation for world war one was one of the most interesting transitions in the last one hundred years. One shift was directed by the Committee of Public Information to spread news through propaganda to those on the Homefront. The ability to shift production in such little time is overwhelming and strongly contributes to the success that the United States had in the war. For instance, an entire nation went without meat on Mondays, Wheat on Wednesdays and heat on Fridays for nearly two years. The women on the home front replaced men in the workplace and got their first taste of what it was like to make their own money. http://www.striking-women.org/module/women-and-work/world-war-i-1914-1918. This transition ultimately lead to the women’s rights movement and further to women gaining the right to vote in the early 1920s. https://www.ourdocuments.gov/doc.php?flash=false&doc=63

On a more local scale the state of Connecticut did its part in preparation for World War I. The Connecticut river was utilized for its transportation and factories littered its banks. One example is Bridgeport’s Remington Arms. They were responsible for approximately half of the countries small arms cartridges. In addition to a skyrocket in production, the African American population in Connecticut was growing due to ample job openings. Today it can be noticed that some of the north’s current diversity can be traced back to the Great Migration trends in our state that began during World War I. https://connecticuthistory.org/topics-page/world-war-i/ http://www.history.com/topics/black-history/great-migration

The girl’s role at Suffield school while in its military days certainly received the praise it deserved. During its time as a military school the girls of Suffield School took part in conservation, stamp campaigns, and even established the Liberty Chorus, an all-girls singing group that sang at multiple gatherings and events within the school and the rest of Connecticut. (https://www.nhregister.com/connecticut/article/West-Haven-Historical-Society-hosts-open-house-11317021.php).  The Liberty Chorus sang motivational, pro war songs, in hope that they would boost morale at the school and further motivate the boys at Suffield School to go over-seas and fight. They were the cheerleaders of Suffield School during WWI.

In terms of Liberty Stamps, the campaign was a fundraiser that included selling stamps to fund school updates. Back in the early 1900s people wrote letters to one another, so the stamp was quite relevant and in high demand. The stamp campaign helped raise more than $4,800 in only five days. That is equal to approximately $57,920 if the campaign were to be run today. The conservation methods run by the girls of Suffield school were formidable to say the least.

Canning two and a half tons of tomatoes and one thousand six hundred quarts of corn was critical to the rationing effort, and the support from the school farm was certainly important. Some of the boys worked on the farm in the summer to help pay for school, and the farm’s five hundred chickens, thirty pigs, and eight cows was more than enough to feed the 140 students on campus at the time.

 

 

 

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