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Scrap Metal In The Second World War

Many of us understand the importance of metal in our daily lives, but how much do you know about its history? In this week’s article, we’re going to be exploring the use of scrap metal in the Second World War, and how metal was used to bring communities together.

metal ww2

During the Second World War, civilians were asked to donate their unnecessary scrap metal to help with the war efforts. Manufacturing warplanes, army vessels and weapons asked for extremely large quantities of metal- the largest US navy ship was built from 900 tonnes of metal! Because of this, there was a great effort to encourage the populace to donate their scrap metal. On top of this, metal started being rationed at this time. This meant that there was a halt on manufacturing items that required metal, such as typewriters, refrigerators and radios. In 1942, dog food was no longer available in tins!

Citizens were asked to scour their homes and businesses for spare metal. From pots and pans, to metal toys, to car bumpers, to farm equipment- any metal was considered valuable. On the more extreme end, communities melted down wrought iron fences and historical cannons for their metal. In doing so, they sacrificed a piece of their history for the war efforts.

When people came together to find scrap metal, these drives became larger community events that included performers, speeches and games. One such game was an opportunity to throw scrap metal at a model of Hitler. Collecting scrap metal also became part of a larger effort across the country. To draw the country together, competitions were held to see which town, county or state could collect the most scrap. These metals found were mainly aluminium, steel, tin and copper.

However, when the war ended, scrap metal could be found just about anywhere. No longer necessary for the army’s manufacturing efforts, it was littered all over the country. Today, scrap metal is no longer as abundant. But it remains an important an incredibly valuable resource, including within the recycling industry. Metal Men Recycling offer cash for scrap metal, with a 24 hour pick up service. For more information, get in touch by calling 03 5941 6677 today.