Tag Archives: world wars

Was Your Grandmother a “Saboteur!”? Hoarding Before Television


In the First World War, the Canada Food Board began to produce posters urging Canadians to be patriotic in their food use. The Dominion Government created the Poster War Service to help with the production of propaganda for war-related purposes.

Some posters emphasized the need for food conservation with a fearful undertone like the one below.


  • Date Created/Published: Hamilton [Ontario, Canada] : Howell Lith., [between 1914 and 1918]



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Clipped from The Ottawa Journal, 13 Apr 1942, Mon, Page 7

Chicago Tribune, November 21, 1942.

Canadians were also exhorted and legislated to save and recycle. One pound of fat supplies enough glycerine to fire 150 bullets from a Bren gun … bones produce fat and aircraft glue … save and strain every drop to speed victory.”To preserve cardboard, milk bottle caps were banned. To preserve sugar, no icing was allowed on cakes – wedding cakes excepted. To preserve cloth, the width of the lapels on mens suits and the length of ladies skirts were regulated.

If your grandparents hoarded it was a crime punishable by up to two years in prison. As usual, behind much of the homefront war effort was a well-organized government propaganda machine. Official wartime communications took many forms ranging from government directives to colourful billboards and stirring documentaries.One government ad tried to dissuade Canadians from hoarding with one word—


It was Flannelette your Grandmother was after, twelve yards for three nightshirts. But when the clerk mentioned flannelette was getting scarce, she bought the whole bolt. Grandma didn’t mean to a saboteur–but she was!


This is a great 10 minute video about two 40s gals and rationing.


Historical Photos from the war from the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum


Private Arthur John Simons dressed in the uniform of the 2nd Battalion (Eastern Ontario Regiment) in September 1914. Before joining up, Simons 18, was a stove mounter at Findlay’s in Carleton Place. He had emigrated from Somerset England.


The first troops of the 42nd Lanark and Renfrew Regiment left Carleton Place to serve in the First World War. They travelled by train to Perth before moving to Valcartier Camp in Quebec for training.

Horace Brown, brother of Howard Morton Brown, age 18, wrote in his diary:

“Sat. Aug 15 – Busy getting ready. Went over to the drill hall about 10 a.m., leaving on 11:20 train. Marched down, the band led and then rigs with the council, then the fellows who were not going across then ourselves. Got to Perth about 12:20 am. Marched about the town and out to the grounds. We had dinner shortly after arriving. Did nothing much all day in the afternoon. Started a march around town but it rained so came back. Had made arrangements to spend Sunday at home, so went down about 12 o’clock to the station. Spent the night there. I had some sleep. When we left the mayor Mr. Smythe, made a speech and all the men who had driven down shook hands with us. Nearly everybody was down to see us off. It seemed hard when the band played “Should Auld Acquaintance be Forgot.”