Van Young is returning to the Big Walnut Area
Historical Society to talk about “WWII – The Homefront” at 7:00 p.m.
on Monday evening, May 17. The virtual program will be available via
Many Americans are aware of the tremendous
contributions the military men and women made during WWII, yet what
is sometimes forgotten are the hardships and sacrifices U.S.
citizens made on the home front during that war.
Young’s talk describes the toll of the rationing
1941-1945. “It was American patriotism at its
best,” notes Young.
Sunbury’s Nestlés was one of the many companies across the country
which shifted gears for the war effort. While primarily making baby
food, a small group in the corner figured out how to make an instant
coffee to speed up their coffee breaks. They named the instant
coffee Nescafe. Everyone knew you needed to perk or drip coffee for
the best flavor but if you are eating rations in the jungle you are
grateful for a quick cup of coffee, noted one of the servicemen who
wrote to The Sunbury News. Although much of the research happened
elsewhere, in 1939, before convenience foods were popular, Sunbury
produced 350 pounds of instant coffee an hour. In 1943 they received
the Army-Navy E Award for high achievement in producing Nescafe for
every serviceman's ration pack. The pleasant aroma of brewed coffee
covered the area and resulted in more than one person stopping in
the town to inquire about its source. The cup on top of the plant
with the steam coming up from behind it became a Sunbury trademark.
Patriotic, yes, but also great publicity. Servicemen and women came
home wanting that quick cup of coffee.
Zoom link will be emailed to all members who get the BWAHS
Newsletters via email. If you get it another way but have
access to zoom, email
info@BigWalnutHistory.org by May 15 and we will send you
the zoom link.