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Support for the WWII Online Exhibit is provided in part through a grant from the Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission and The Century Fund.

 

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WW II Home Front - Scrap Collecting  

Even children helped fight the war.  Scout troops and schools sponsored scrap drives, collecting scrap for war use.  Twenty million pounds of aluminum were needed to build 2,000 fighter planes, so the nation collected aluminum.  Men, women, and children deposited all the scrap aluminum that they could gather in a huge bin at Center Square in Allentown.  Almost 24,000 pounds was collected in Lehigh County—enough to build four planes.  Other scrap metals, paper, and rubber were also needed, so children combed the streets for these items.  An amazing 50% of every tank, ship, submarine and gun was made from scrap steel, showing the importance of collecting every piece of scrap metal from tin cans to old cars.  Housewives saved kitchen grease so that glycerin could be extracted from it.  The glycerin was used to make explosives.