Monday, May 17 at 7:00 p.m. . . .

World War II  - The Homefront

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 zoom.

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 programs,

Van Young

shortages, our economy, and the effect they had on families, and workers, between

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 by May 15  and we will send you the zoom link.

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