Wednesday, January 18, 2017

"Save Used Fats” Ads – January 1947

Courtesy pinterest
Did you know that during World War II, housewives were encouraged to save their cooking fats and turn them in at their local butchers or meat dealers? The reason: the fats could be used to manufacture bombs.
This article in The Atlantic explains it all.

Here's a great wartime LIFE magazine photo (below) sent to me by regular blog reader Rae. Not only is there a great "Save Waste Fats" poster right on the counter of the meat department, it turns out that it's an A&P grocery store!

Courtesy Pinterest
After the war, the saving of fats was still encouraged, as they were needed for such peacetime items such as tires and soap. That’s the point of the printed public service ad below, which appeared in the Lorain Journal on January 23, 1947 – 70 years ago this month.

Here’s another ad from that same January 1947 time period (this time without Uncle Sam clutching a container of fat as if he was about to take a swig). It ran in the Journal on January 20th that same year.

I’m not sure how long this campaign lasted.

I know Mom saved her bacon grease in one of those ubiquitous metal canisters (with the strainer insert) during the 1960s, but there wasn't anything patriotic about it. It’s what she cooked her eggs in.

(I would have to wait another twenty years to discover – as Joseph Heller described it in Catch-22 – the “smell of a fresh egg snapping exotically in a pool of fresh butter.”)

If the idea of making soap from used fat intrigues you, then you might be interested in knowing that you can make bacon soap from bacon fat at home! Here’s the link to the tasty instructions.

By George, that’s one soap a meat-loving tyke wouldn’t mind getting his mouth washed out with!

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