In the wake of Veterans Day, when we honor those who have been willing to place themselves in harm’s way to serve their country, it feels appropriate to highlight the efforts of civilians who supported service members’ work during war time by doing their bit at home.
Barbara Natanson, head of the Prints & Photographs Reading Room, recently pointed out to me this 1943 image of a group of Girl Scouts engaged in a useful “game” called Plant the Victory Garden. One girl appears to be multi-tasking, eating a cookie while the three implement their planting strategy. This photo is one of over a dozen made by Ann Rosener to document Victory Garden cultivation, which helped ease food shortages during World War II.
People of all ages can be seen contributing to Victory Gardens, including these boys, who are browsing through seed packets and contemplating which ones to select. The caption seems to indicate a general aversion to spinach.
Some captions provide tips for individuals who might be in the early stages of Victory Garden planning. The one below stresses the importance of a good watering strategy.
At a time when most Americans are removed from the labor and effects of war, these images serve as a reminder of how past conflicts have elicited a coordinated effort by members of the military and civilians alike.
- Look at the catalog record describing Ann Rosener’s Victory Garden assignment for the Office of War Information.
- View additional Victory Garden-related images from across the collections, or focus on a sample of WWI and WWII posters relating to victory gardens.
- Explore the Farm Security Administration / Office of War Information Collection.
- Browse other World War II-related images, including many that highlight the work of service members.