Today’s Storage is Tomorrow’s Dinner. These words, plastered across a photo of a wide array of fresh and canned fruits and vegetables, opened a 1942 filmstrip created by the U. S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). (If you never had the pleasure of watching educational filmstrips in school, here’s a quick explanation!)
Drawing from the vast collection of photographs being created for the Farm Security Administration, the USDA created filmstrips to educate the public about many topics related to agriculture. The narrative accompanying Today’s Storage is Tomorrow’s Dinner explains: “Every farm family should have plenty of good food every day in the year. The less cash, the more important it is to produce at home as much food as possible. The purpose of this film is to suggest ways of keeping home-grown food for future use.”
The lessons of this filmstrip hold true today, and the images do a wonderful job of instructing and entertaining. Enjoy a sample below, interspersed with some of the words which would be spoken over each photo in the filmstrip:
“How would you like to be invited to dinner with this family? … A well-balanced meal supplied from the farm.”
“If these sagging shelves should break — you can almost hear the crash! This important part of the winter’s food supply would be lost. And these shelves are so narrow that the jars could be knocked off easily. The jars will collect dust and they get too much light. A poor storage place!”
“Nothing wrong with these shelves. Shelves like these may be built in a well ventilated cellar, cave, or closet where it is cool…and where there is no strong light. They are wide enough, they are built of strong boards…”
Since the filmstrip was created in 1942, with the United States in the thick of World War II, a wartime message is captured in this photo and its accompanying caption:
“You can do your part by growing and storing your own food and raising a surplus to sell. Ask your farm and home supervisors how you can do the most – in your own home and on your own farm – to help win the war.”
- Enjoy the entire sequence of photographs and artwork created for the filmstrip Today’s Storage is Tomorrow’s Dinner. Try watching the photos as a slideshow. (Click the play arrow to start the show.)
- Explore other filmstrips created using Farm Security Administration/Office of War Information photographs. More examples:
- Read more about the background and scope of the Farm Security Administration / Office of War Information (FSA/OWI) Photograph Collection.
- Watch the two-part video introduction to the FSA/OWI collection described in a recent Picture This blog post.