Video: Victory Garden (1942 edition)

comments (7) February 21st, 2010

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Ruth Ruth Dobsevage, Web producer
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Video Length: 20:26
Produced by: Prelinger Archives

There's a lot of talk of Victory Gardens these days and there's a Victory Garden on the White House Lawn, but the concept is not new. It originated in the 20th century and was part of the War Effort for WWI and WWII. During World War II, many foods were rationed, and fresh fruit and vegetables were hard to come by. So the government encouraged citizens to grow their own vegetables, and many (some accounts say 20 million) famiies answered the call.

You can get a feel for those distant times from this vintage movie. The Holders-Mom, Dad, Grandpa, Dick, and Jane (yes, Dick and Jane, for those old enough to remember)-plant a quarter-acre garden that will feed their family for a year. You see what they plant and how they plant, and you get a sense of the historic importance of their undertaking. Back then, the Victory Garden was serious business.

You'll probably cringe at the pest management techniques and the smug tone of the narrator. Okay, so times have changed. Kick back, settle in (the video is 20 minutes long), and let me know what you think.

If you are don't see a video player on this page, click here to view the video.

Office of War Information New Hampshire State Library National Archives and Records Administration  

posted in: victory garden

Comments (7)

gstilwell writes: Ruth,
Just found this and I want to thank you so much for posting it. This is how I always thought of growing a garden with the family. I remember working with my Dad in the garden in NY--carrots, greens, corn, beans, rhubarb, turnips, parsnips, cabbage, broccoli, and ---rocks. I never understood how they could come back year after year, when I just raked them all out the last season.
I was able to get my Granddaughter to help me start corn last week-wow, she wanted to plant more pepper seeds too!
Posted: 9:28 pm on December 5th
AuntieMem writes: Is there any way to get a copy of the Victory Garden video to show at our local historical meeting?
Posted: 8:18 pm on April 3rd
gardenchef writes: Ruth it's cathy again, I shared this on my fb but I don't think the link works. Anyway I have copied the ads from bottom... to post as well. I will give you credit though, just wanted to be sure that was ok with you
Cathy Colllins
Posted: 12:22 pm on March 27th
gardenchef writes: Ruth Thank you so much for sharing this incredible film clip. I was smiling the whole time and the voice over was endearing to me, so reminiscent of war films, etc.

I admit I wish my family and I gardened together in a serious manner like this...I love the way folks lived in the past. Life isn't always better on the fast lane. Don't get me wrong though I love my life too; I just appreciate the time I have to to focus on living my life while remembering and honoring the past and those that have gone before us.

Please friend me on facebook CATHY COLLINS. And we welcome you to FAN our new page on facebook FOOTBRIDGE COVE...regarding our vintage collectibles.

We have a weblog pertaining to vegetable gardening, 'cooking from scratch' and our shop as well.

thanks for sharing I loved this video
Posted: 12:14 am on March 27th
Ruth writes: oops, I just checked in firefox, and there's no image available. You can see it in IE, and I'll try to get it working in firefox.
Posted: 4:28 pm on February 22nd
Ruth writes: Greg, just click on the big video image, and the video should begin to play.
Posted: 4:25 pm on February 22nd
yourownvictorygarden writes: Hi Ruth. My mouse clicking skills must be off today... I can't find a link that goes to the actual movie. I did find this one online:

I assume it's the same one.
Posted: 2:09 pm on February 22nd
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