This colorful advertisement from 1943, produced by the Arlington County Salvage Committee, describes “To the Housewives of Arlington County” how to properly clean and prepare tin cans for recycling in order to aid war efforts during WWII.
The two sided circular, which “makes known to you the vital need of tin in the War effort,” is part of the Robert McAtee, (1913-2014) archival collection. Mr. McAtee, who lived in Arlington for most his life, and in the Maywood neighborhood for decades, owned Seven Corners Rentals on Leesburg Pike. McAtee was an active community historian who documented both his neighborhood and physical changes throughout Arlington county. Thanks to donors like Mr. McAtee, who spent a majority of his life collecting material culture about Arlington County, historians today are able to see the significant shifts and changes of the community over the last century.
To learn more about Robert McAtee, life in Arlington during WWII, or to see more items like this, visit the Center for Local History located on the 1st floor of Central Library.
martin ganderson says
Yes. Crushing tin cans was a competitive sport for my younger brother and me. We even collected uncrushed cans from neighbors. There was some psychic pleasure stomping them flat. The grand finale would arrive periodically when we packed them into paper bags and carried them off to school about a block and half away. Along with the concurrent paper drive, we filled larger containers that “somebody” hauled off later in the day for whatever the processing in those days happened to be.
I often recall those days especially when I notice the neighborhood recycle barrels filled to overflow with cans and plastic bottles that are uncrushed, wishing today’s folks would learn the lesson from WW II, crush the cans an pack more into the barrels and keep the refuse off of the street