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8 Unusual Wartime Conservation Measures


1. Wilson’s White House sheep

During World War I, visitors to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue were greeted by an unusual sight on the White House lawn: a flock of several dozen sheep. President Woodrow Wilson purchased the animals in 1918 as part of a scheme to cut down on maintenance costs during wartime. The grass-chomping livestock acted as roving lawnmowers and fertilizer, allowing White House groundskeepers to enlist in the armed forces. Wilson also had the flock sheared once a year so he could peddle their “White House Wool” at auctions benefiting the Red Cross. During one sale, the rare fleece netted a whopping $52,823. Wilson’s sheep were sold in 1920, but they were a major hit with the public in the days before they left the presidential pasture. One ram named Old Ike even became a minor celebrity for his grumpy disposition and insatiable appetite for discarded cigar butts.

2. Alcohol restrictions

The same month the United States entered World War I, Yale economist Irving Fisher famously argued that the barley used in brewing beer could be put to better use baking bread to feed American troops. Others asserted that alcohol was a luxury that gobbled up much-needed resources and impaired job performance in wartime factories. These calls were fueled as much by a yearning for prohibition as they were by patriotism, but they were ultimately successful in winning restrictions on booze. In 1917 and 1918, measures were enacted limiting everything from the sale of alcohol around military bases and munitions plants to the amount of grain allotted to beer brewers. Other countries made similar efforts to keep their citizens clearheaded. Britain shortened pub hours and made it illegal to buy drinks for other patrons, and King George V tried to set an example by swearing off alcohol for the duration of the war. In Russia, Czar Nicholas II took the more extreme step of banning the sale and production of vodka outright.

3. Victory Gardens

During both World War I and II, many countries strictly rationed foods such as meat, sugar, butter and canned goods. To supplement their diets, citizens were encouraged to plant so-called “Victory Gardens” and grow their own fresh fruits and vegetables. The United States’ campaign began at the start of World War I, when timber tycoon Charles Lathrop Pack organized the National War Garden Commission with the goal of reducing strain on the food supply and shipping more produce to war-ravaged Europe. The “Grow Your Own” movement later became even more popular during World War II. Spurred on by propaganda posters urging them to “Grow Vitamins at Your Kitchen Door,” Americans planted 20 million gardens and cultivated nearly half the nation’s vegetables in their backyards. First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt even promoted the cause by planting a Victory Garden at the White House.

READ MORE: These World War II Propaganda Posters Rallied the Home Front

4. Stocking rationing

Along with the rationing of food, rubber and gasoline, World War II also saw the U.S. government place strict limits on the sale of nylon, a synthetic material needed for ropes, netting and other military equipment. That was bad news for American women, many of whom had been crazy for nylon stockings ever since they hit shelves in 1940 (the first batch of 4 million sold out in only two days). Nylons effectively vanished from stores around 1942, and patriotic women lined up to donate their old hosiery so it could be repurposed as parachutes and powder bags. Most ladies chose to go bare-legged for the rest of the war, but some turned to so-called “liquid stockings,” a do-it-yourself method that involved using leg makeup and an eyebrow pencil to recreate the look of stockings, seams and all.

5. German sausage bans

Few things are more German than sausage, but during World War I, the Central Powers briefly outlawed its production to support the war effort. The bratwurst ban had its origins in the construction of zeppelins—colossal airships that were used in reconnaissance and bombing campaigns over Britain. Since each zeppelin required the intestines of thousands of cows to make its hydrogen gas bags, the Germans were forced to cut back on sausage-making in both the fatherland and the other territories under their control. Butchers, meanwhile, were required to hand over any cow intestines they had to the government.

6. The British pet purge

In 1939, the British government circulated a pamphlet about how to care for household pets during wartime. Along with offering advice on first aid and instructing people to evacuate their animals from cities, the memo also suggested that owners consider having their pets “painlessly destroyed.” Fearing possible food shortages and roving packs of starved dogs, thousands complied. In the span of only one week, as many as 750,000 pets were euthanized by their owners or by animal shelters. The London Zoo, meanwhile, had all of its poisonous animals killed to prevent them from escaping in the event of a bomb attack. The pet cull continued after the beginning of the Blitz, but humane societies later stepped in to assist with care and evacuation. One London shelter, the Battersea Dogs and Cats Home, took in as many as 145,000 animals over the course of the war.

7. Daylight Saving Time

While calls for daylight saving date back hundreds of years, the first practical attempt to “spring forward, and fall back” began as a conservation measure during World War I. In April 1916, Germany implemented the world’s first clock shift as part of a plan to save on electricity and divert extra coal to their soldiers on the front. Many other nations soon followed suit, including the United States in 1918. Daylight saving was widely regarded as a wartime measure, however, and many countries reverted to standard time after the fighting ended. It would take more than 20 years and another World War before the practice became permanent.

8. The sliced bread ban

Americans were asked to conserve bread by observing “Wheatless Wednesdays,” during World War I, but during World War II, the government took its rationing a step further. In January 1943, the U.S. War Foods Administration instituted a ban on what had once been advertised as “the greatest step forward in the baking industry”: pre-sliced bread. The rule was intended to save on wax paper and metal. Since pre-sliced bread required more wrapping than a whole loaf to keep it from going stale, the government assumed they could easily conserve paper and curb demand for metal bread slicer parts by having people cut it themselves at home. The public response proved how wrong they were. Bakeries argued they had more than enough supplies on hand to meet demands, and housewives criticized the law in the media. “I should like to let you know how important sliced bread is to the morale and saneness of a household,” began one woman’s letter to the New York Times. Secretary of Agriculture Claude R. Wickard eventually bowed to the pressure and rescinded the ban after only three months, admitting, “the savings are not as much as we expected…”


How Clothes Rationing Affected Fashion In The Second World War

Clothes were rationed in Britain from 1 June 1941. This limited the amount of new garments people could buy until 1949, four years after the war's end.

Despite the limitations imposed by rationing, clothing retailers sought to retain and even expand their customer base during the Second World War. Britain's high street adapted in response to wartime conditions, and this was reflected in their retail ranges. The government intervened in the mass manufacture of high street fashions with the arrival of the Utility clothing scheme in 1942.

Shoppers carefully spent their precious clothing coupons and money on new clothes to make sure their purchases would be suitable across spring, summer and autumn and winter. Despite the restrictions, the war and civilian austerity did not put an end to creative design, commercial opportunism or fashionable trends on the British home front.

War Didn't Mean the End of Fashion

When Britain went to war in 1939 it seemingly spelt an end for fashion. The people of Britain now had more pressing concerns, such as widely expected air raids and possible German invasion. In many ways war did disrupt and dislocate fashion in Britain. Resources and raw materials for civilian clothing were limited. Prices rose and fashion staples such as silk were no longer available. Purchase tax and clothes rationing were introduced. But fashion survived and even flourished in wartime, often in unexpected ways.

Functional Fashions for Wartime Life

For men and women not in uniform, the war changed how they dressed both at work and at home. It became important for civilian clothes to be practical as well as stylish. Clothing and accessories manufacturers were quick to see commercial potential in some of the war's greatest dangers. By the outbreak of war in September 1939, over 40 million respirators had been distributed in Britain as a result of the potential threat of gas warfare. Although not compulsory, people were advised to carry their gas masks with them at all times. Usually they were issued in a cardboard box with a string threaded through so it could be carried over the shoulder. Retailers were quick to spot a gap in the market for a more attractive solution. The handbag seen here, like many others specially produced, has a compartment for a gas mask.

Blackout Restrictions Sparked a Bright Trend

A 'blackout' was enforced in Britain before the war had even begun on 1 September 1939 to make it harder for much-feared German bombers to find their targets. Street lighting and illuminated signs were extinguished and all vehicles had to put caps over their lights to dim them. The blackout caused a rise in collisions. A government campaign urged people to wear white clothes to make them more visible to fellow pedestrians and drivers. The blackout and its dangers provided an unexpected commercial opportunity. A range of luminous accessories, from pin-on flowers to handbags, were produced that would reflect light and help make their wearers more visible. These also included the buttons seen here in normal conditions and when aglow in the dark.

Wartime 'Onesies' for the Air Raid Shelter

The 'siren suit' was an all-in-one garment which could be pulled on quickly over night clothes if the wearer had to escape to an outdoor air raid shelter. Some suits had a stylish twist - this woman's siren suit has puffed shoulders, bell-bottom cuffs to the legs and a fitted hood. It also has a detachable belt and piping decoration. A more practical drop down panel is attached to the rear so the wearer could visit the lavatory without removing the whole garment. Siren suits were a popular wartime trend with many retailers advertising their ranges. Prime Minister Winston Churchill was often photographed in his own tailor-made siren suits.

Utility Fashions Hit the High Street

In 1942, the first 'Utility' clothes went on sale on the British high street as part of a government scheme. These clothes were made from a limited range of quality controlled fabrics. The Utility scheme developed out of a need to make production of civilian clothing in British factories more efficient and to provide price-regulated better quality clothing. Until Utility clothing was introduced, the less well-off had to use the same number of coupons for cheaper garments that might wear out in half the time. Utility fabrics - and clothes made from these materials - gave the public a guarantee of quality and value for their money and coupons.

In autumn 1941 it became compulsory for all Utility cloths and garments to be marked 'CC41'. The distinctive logo - often likened to two cheeses - stood for 'Civilian Clothing 1941' and was designed by Reginald Shipp. It is seen here printed onto a pair of men's socks

Strict Rules for Fashion - the Austerity Restrictions

Utility clothing came in a limited range of garments, styles and fabrics. In 1942 and 1943, the Board of Trade introduced the Making-up of Civilian Clothing (Restrictions) Orders to make further savings of labour and materials and minimise manufacturing costs. These orders, often known as the 'austerity regulations', applied to the production of both Utility and non-Utility clothing.

Some of the most unpopular austerity regulations were those that applied to men's clothing. Single-breasted suits replaced double-breasted. Lapels had to be within a certain size. The number of pockets was restricted and trouser turn-ups were abolished. The ban on turn-ups was particularly unpopular, and many men circumvented this regulation by buying trousers that were too long and having them altered at home. The length of men's shirts was restricted and double cuffs were banned.

It is estimated that these measures saved about 4 million square yards (approximately 5 million square metres) of cotton per year. Braces would have been a vital element of a man's outfit as both zip fasteners and elastic waistbands were banned under the austerity regulations. Elastic was in very short supply throughout the war, and women's knickers were one of only a small number of garments where the use of elastic was permitted.

Designer Fashion in Wartime

There were worries that Utility clothing meant 'standard' clothing, with people dressed too similarly. The government was at pains to reassure the public that 'the Board of Trade have no wish to adopt the role of fashion dictator'. It brought in leading fashion designers to design a prototype range of Utility clothing which were attractive, stylish and very varied.

The Incorporated Society of London Fashion Designers (IncSoc) was founded in 1942 to represent the collective interests of the fashion industry in Britain, promote exports and develop standards of design. There were originally eight members: Peter Russell, Norman Hartnell (pictured here), Bianca Mosca, Digby Morton, Victor Stiebel, Elspeth Champcommunal and Hardy Amies. Edward Molyneux and Charles Creed joined soon after. They were commissioned by the Board of Trade to produce designs for stylish yet economical outfits that could be produced under the Utility scheme. As well as using Utility materials, the designers also had to work within the austerity regulations.

Utility was a Surprise Hit

This is an example of Utility design at its best, featuring simple lines and minimal trimmings. It is a style that could easily be worn today without looking dated. Utility clothing covered a range of dresses, coats, jackets, trousers, shirts, socks, gloves and shoes. Utility ranges were produced for men, women and children. To encourage long production runs of Utility clothing, only 15 styles were permitted for infants' and girls' dresses.

Although there was a maximum price set for Utility garments, there was a spectrum of pricing and cheaper items were also available. Once launched, the clothes received many favourable reports, despite the initial hesitation. Celebrity endorsement was sought, and a March 1942 edition of Picture Post featured the actress Deborah Kerr modelling Utility clothes.

The End of War and Peacetime Style

By 1945 British people had grown tired of rationing, restrictions, and calls to 'Make Do and Mend'. Advertisements promised new styles but often shops lacked many new offerings. Production of clothes and other civilian goods did increase after the war, but most of what was made was exported. Clothes rationing - albeit in a reduced form - continued until 1949.

The best-dressed were those leaving the military services. Demobilised men were issued with a full set of clothes, known as the 'demob suit'. Reactions varied - although there was some degree of choice, and quality could be very good, many simply felt that they had swapped one uniform for another. Women leaving the military services were given an allocation of coupons rather than a new outfit. The coupons gave women more freedom to choose what clothes they wanted, but they were still limited by what was available in the shops.


Don’t Cancel John Muir

About the author: Michelle Nijhuis is a project editor at The Atlantic and the author of the new book Beloved Beasts: Fighting for Life in an Age of Extinction.

This article is part of a new series called “Who Owns America’s Wilderness?”

O n the morning of July 22, 2020, the Sierra Club’s executive director, Michael Brune, posted a reflection on his organization’s 128-year history. “As defenders of Black life pull down Confederate monuments across the country,” he wrote, “we must also take this moment to reexamine our past and our substantial role in perpetuating white supremacy.”

Brune’s reexamination began with John Muir—the inveterate hiker and activist who founded the Sierra Club and was famous for his eloquent tributes to the Sierra Nevada, many of which were first published in The Atlantic. Though Muir is a renowned figure in the conservation movement, Brune wrote, he made derogatory statements about Black and Indigenous people that drew on racist stereotypes. He maintained friendships with other prominent conservationists well known for their racist beliefs. These and other long-ago words and actions, Brune argued, not only continue to alienate potential Sierra Club supporters but sustain a “dangerous idea” within the organization: “that exploring, enjoying, and protecting the outdoors can be separated from human affairs.”

Many within the Sierra Club applauded Brune’s statement. Michael Horn, a professor at California State University at Fullerton, wrote that although he had supported the Sierra Club as a member for most of the past 35 years, “as a Native American ecologist, I’ve often cringed while doing so.” Brune’s words, Horn added, were a first step toward meaningful organizational change: “Now the real work of the Sierra Club begins.”

Yet many others accused Brune of unfairly applying a “purity test” to Muir, or of “smearing a great individual via guilt by association.” The science-fiction novelist Kim Stanley Robinson, a Sierra Club member and lifelong Sierra Nevada hiker, responded to Brune’s statement by declaring that Muir was not a racist, and that “indeed in the context of his time, he was a tolerant and generous figure, worthy of respect both then and now.”

In a narrow sense, Robinson is right: Muir’s generosity toward and reverence for the members of other species was remarkable, for his time and for ours. But his failures of imagination about the human species were both significant and all too common among conservationists of his time. And as Brune noted, their influence persists, and the resulting pessimism about humans’ capacity to contribute to conservation undermines the work of the Sierra Club and like-minded organizations worldwide. In reexamining the limitations of its icons, the conservation movement has a chance to broaden its own vision.

J ohn Muir was born in 1838 and spent his first 11 years in Dunbar, on Scotland’s southeastern coast. His father, Daniel, was an evangelical Protestant, and in 1849, feeling called to proselytize, he moved the family to south-central Wisconsin.

According to the John Muir biographer Millie Stanley, who chronicled his Wisconsin years, young John was delighted by his new surroundings—the low, oak-covered hills, the marshes that bloomed with wildflowers each spring—but he had almost no time to enjoy them. Daniel kept his children busy with farm chores, and disobedience was severely punished: “I have good reason, as doubtless you know to hate the habit of child beating,” John wrote to a childhood friend decades later, “having seen and felt its effects in some of their worst form in my father’s house.”

In 1864, Muir moved to Canada and found work at a factory that made broom and rake handles. Three years later, while working at a carriage-parts factory in Indianapolis, he injured his eye with a file and was temporarily blinded. When he regained his sight several weeks later, he abandoned his industrial career, resolving instead to “get as near the heart of the world as I can.” He took the train south, and from Louisville, Kentucky, he set out—on foot—for the Gulf of Mexico.

The trip was formative. After walking hundreds of miles through a landscape transformed by bloodshed—“The traces of war are not only apparent on the broken fields, burnt fences, mills, and woods ruthlessly slaughtered, but also on the countenances of the people,” he wrote in his journal—Muir contracted malaria during his stay on Cedar Key, an island off the Gulf Coast of Florida, and cut short his walk to convalesce. Reflecting on the mosquitoes that carried the disease, and on his run-ins with alligators and spiky vegetation, he proposed the then-radical idea that the world was not created solely for humans’ benefit. “Nature’s object in making animals and plants might possibly be first of all the happiness of each one of them, not the creation of all for the happiness of one,” he mused.

Muir’s journal of the trip, published posthumously in 1916 as A Thousand-Mile Walk to the Gulf, is a remarkable account of a man coming to understand his place in the world. It is also disturbing to read, not only because of its racist language—which could conceivably be explained away as an artifact of his time and background—but because of an insensitivity that goes beyond language. “The negroes here have been well trained and are extremely polite,” he wrote upon arriving in Athens, Georgia. “When they come in sight of a white man on the road, off go their hats, even at a distance of forty or fifty yards.” Though Muir had suffered years of abuse from his father, he did not recognize the “polite” behavior of formerly enslaved people for what it surely was: fear.

“There’s this great irony,” says Cynthia Barnett, an environmental-journalism professor at the University of Florida who teaches Muir as part of an annual class field trip to the Cedar Keys National Wildlife Refuge. “During his walk to the Gulf, he develops his egalitarian philosophy of nature—while expressing prejudiced views of the Black people he meets.”

Once he’d recuperated from his illness, Muir left Florida and made his way to California by steamer, arriving in San Francisco in the spring of 1868. He immediately proceeded to the mountains, where he spent a delirious month in and around the recently established state park in the Yosemite Valley. For the rest of his life, Muir would be happiest in the Sierra Nevada, and his paeans to the range would become part of conservation scripture. “I used to envy the father of our race, dwelling as he did in contact with the new-made fields and plants of Eden but I do so no more, because I have discovered that I also live in ‘creation’s dawn,’” Muir reflected during one trip.

Muir spent most of the 1870s in the mountains, supporting himself with odd jobs and the occasional published essay. He had developed a national reputation for his writing by 1880, when he married Louisa Strentzel and became responsible for managing her family’s expansive fruit ranch east of the San Francisco Bay. (Strentzel, a skilled pianist, far preferred home to the mountains, but encouraged Muir’s adventures.) After several years of domestic life, he began to publicly campaign for Yosemite’s promotion from a state to a national park. When his brother moved from Wisconsin and took over the management of the Strentzel ranch, Muir happily dedicated himself to conservation causes, co-founding the Sierra Club in 1892.

Thanks in part to Muir’s advocacy, Yosemite was designated as a national park in 1890, but the valley was no new-made field people had been living there for thousands of years. Though the park’s superintendent, A. E. Wood, stated in 1892 that the Miwok and Mono people had a “moral right” to continue hunting, gathering, and residing in the park, Muir disagreed. After encountering a group of Mono people on one of his hikes, he mused that they “seemed to have no right place in the landscape,” and expressed his disgust at the sight of their unwashed faces. (Muir frequently contrasted the “cleanliness” of nature with the dirtiness he perceived in humans and human societies: “A strangely dirty and irregular life these dark-eyed, dark-haired, half-happy savages lead in this clean wilderness,” he wrote in The Atlantic after another encounter with Native people in Yosemite.)

The historian Donald Worster points out that Muir struggled with his aversion. “It seems sad to feel such desperate repulsion from one’s fellow beings, however degraded,” Muir wrote at one point. But he seemed unaware of what was arguably the deeper insult: his claim that the people he met in Yosemite not only had “no place” in the landscape of their ancestors, but were soiling it with their presence. He didn’t see that the place he loved already had a human story, and that fully protecting it meant protecting that story too.

W hen Muir died, in 1914, at age 76, the Sierra Club had enrolled 1,000 members. By then, the group’s advocacy had contributed to the protection of Glacier, Grand Canyon, Mount Rainier, and Devils Postpile as national parks and monuments conserved coastal redwood groves in California and laid the legislative groundwork for the agency that would become the National Park Service. Muir’s 1903 camping trip in Yosemite with President Theodore Roosevelt—during which the pair reportedly spent two long evenings interrupting each other around the campfire—had helped persuade Roosevelt to strengthen protections for Yosemite and create the dozens of national parks, wildlife refuges, and monuments that became part of his own conservation legacy.

Since Muir’s death, the Sierra Club has grown to 3.8 million members, and its mission has expanded as well. In the 1950s and ’60s, it blocked plans to build dams in Dinosaur National Monument and Grand Canyon National Park and a jetport in the Everglades. In the 1970s, it defended the Clean Air Act against the auto industry and helped get energy-conservation legislation passed by Congress. It has continued to support the establishment and expansion of new parks and wilderness areas, and worked to protect endangered species from extinction. Over the past decade, its “Beyond Coal” campaign has helped retire 339 aging domestic coal-fired power plants and accelerated the installation of new wind- and solar-power generation.

The Sierra Club, in short, has a great deal to be proud of, and without John Muir’s infectious appreciation of the mountains, there would likely be no Sierra Club. Yet Muir’s portrayal of the Sierra Nevada as a purifying refuge from civilization, combined with his obtuseness about so many of his fellow humans, created an opening within the conservation movement for even more virulent views. Muir’s ideas about the “cleanliness” of nature were embraced by notoriously racist contemporaries such as Madison Grant, whose circle of wealthy sportsmen sought to preserve the California redwoods as a sanctuary for the fair-skinned elite. The Sierra Club’s co-founder Joseph LeConte, a geologist fondly remembered by Muir for his “inspiring, uplifting, enlightening influence,” was an unambiguous white supremacist who spoke of the need to “preserve the blood purity of the higher race.”

Muir’s present-day defenders point out, correctly, that Muir never explicitly endorsed the noxious ideas of his friends and acquaintances. But he never condemned them, either, and his silence allowed them to spread. Many of Africa’s early parks and game reserves were created by colonial governments, some of which proceeded to forcibly evict “squatters” from places where they had lived for centuries or more—much as the creators of some of America’s national parks evicted Native peoples.

Well into the 20th century, many foreign conservationists working in Africa saw the continent’s landscape as Muir had seen Yosemite—as an extraordinary place meant to be visited by foreigners, not lived in by Africans. The German veterinarian and conservationist Bernhard Grzimek, the director of an influential 1959 documentary called Serengeti Shall Not Die, declared that “not even natives” should be permitted to live in a “primordial wilderness” like the Serengeti. In the 1950s and ’60s, representatives of the World Wildlife Fund in East Africa pushed for the exclusion of nomadic Maasai herders from national parks and reserves, shutting them out of traditional hunting and grazing territory. By the end of the 1960s, tensions between conservationists and the Maasai were so high that some Maasai reacted to a new park proposal by slaughtering rhinos in protest. (Though many conservationists in Africa and elsewhere have since developed and supported innovative strategies for conserving both landscapes and human livelihoods, serious conflicts between parks and people persist.)

In 1968, at the invitation of then–Sierra Club Executive Director David Brower, the Stanford University biologist Paul Ehrlich and his wife Anne, a frequent collaborator, co-wrote a book on the perils of human population growth that became both a best seller and a lasting metaphor: The Population Bomb. “The story in the UDCs [underdeveloped countries] is depressingly the same everywhere—people want large families,” they wrote in the book’s first edition. “They want families of a size that will keep the population growing.”

On this point, the Ehrlichs were wrong in much the same way that Muir was wrong, and that the conservation movement is often wrong: While their commitment to conservation made them unusually alert to the complexities of other species, they were inattentive to the complexities of their own. In the Ehrlichs’ case, their sweeping statement has been contradicted over the past half century by the results of voluntary family-planning programs, which have reduced birth rates and improved the overall health of women and children worldwide—especially when combined with greater access to education for girls.

In a recent interview, Paul Ehrlich acknowledged the book’s oversights. “The thing we know works best is improving gender equity and racial equity,” he told me. “If you want to do something about population, give full rights and opportunities to women, including access to abortion.” Ehrlich also wishes that the book had emphasized the need to reduce not only the overall number of humans but the rate of resource consumption by the rich. Fear that untamable reproductive urges among the poor are fueling a human population “bomb” remains widespread among conservationists, however, and in 2004 it helped motivate an attempted takeover of the Sierra Club’s board by a slate of anti-immigration candidates.

Surely, Muir is not responsible for the positions of people born decades after his death. But whenever present-day conservationists make dangerously simplistic generalizations about their fellow humans—or, worse, about particular subsets of their fellow humans—Muir’s is one of the voices that echoes back.

T he Sierra Club is not the only conservation group wrestling with the influence of its past on its present. In late July, the National Audubon Society published a story by the historian Gregory Nobles about John James Audubon, the adventurer and artist whose masterwork, The Birds of America, inspired the founders of the Audubon Society. As Nobles pointed out, Audubon opposed the abolition of slavery and, for a time, was a slaveholder himself. In an accompanying commentary, Audubon President and CEO David Yarnold committed to organizational reforms, observing that “questions of birds and conservation and questions of racial equity are not separate, though they’ve been treated that way for far too long.” (As one example, Yarnold cited the experience of a New York City Audubon board member, Christian Cooper, who was threatened in a racist incident in Central Park last spring.)

But the Sierra Club’s July statement, with its linkage of the words and ideas of Muir and his contemporaries to the persistent notion “that exploring, enjoying, and protecting the outdoors can be separated from human affairs,” is perhaps the farthest-reaching of its kind. The organization is spending $5 million this year—and plans to spend more in the years to come—on reforms ranging from new hiring practices to new investments in environmental-justice work. “We’re being as detailed and strategic about that as we are about the work it takes to close a coal plant,” Brune, the executive director, told me.

Conservation is, after all, accomplished by humans, and a movement that includes more of us will be more successful. That may seem obvious, but given the pernicious ideas planted by Muir and others, it’s worth repeating. Certainly, large parks and reserves with few permanent residents will continue to be part of conservation strategy, especially considering many species’ scarce and shrinking habitats. But the places such reserves aim to protect have human stories, too, and those stories should be respected in substantive ways—by recognizing Indigenous and other customary land rights, supporting neighboring communities in managing resources for the long term, and ensuring that visitors learn the full history of the local landscape. Such measures are not only ethical but good for conservation: Community-led conservation initiatives in Africa and elsewhere show that when the people who live near parks and reserves have some say in their management, they are far more likely to tolerate—and protect—the occasionally troublesome species that wander outside them.

More generally, the conservation movement can ally itself with social-justice groups in addressing the inequities underlying the exploitation of humans and habitats alike. And it can expand its reach by emphasizing that people of all descriptions can actively contribute to conservation—by, for example, finding creative ways to coexist with other species, pushing for legislation that protects clean air and water, and restoring habitats of many kinds in many places.

As the Sierra Club reevaluates Muir, it might take another look at a man long caricatured as Muir’s foil. Gifford Pinchot, the first chief of the U.S. Forest Service, considered Muir a friend and mentor until the early 1900s, when the two clashed over San Francisco’s plans to build a dam and reservoir in the Hetch Hetchy Valley, in Yosemite National Park. Although Muir lost the battle over the dam—it was approved the year before his death and stands today—he won most of history’s sympathy, and Pinchot is usually remembered as a bureaucrat preoccupied with timber sales. In most histories of the conservation movement, Pinchot’s public quarrel with Muir is considered the archetypal cleavage between utilitarians and preservationists—between those who primarily want to maintain landscapes and species for people, and those who want to protect them from most human use. But the boundary between the camps is fuzzier than often portrayed, and Pinchot had a foot firmly in both. While he did treat forests like commodities early in his career, his utilitarianism was rooted in concern for the future, with the goal of “the greatest good, for the greatest number, for the longest run.” His views evolved, and by 1920, he was speaking of forests as a “living society of living beings” and decrying the cozy relationship between the Forest Service and the timber industry. In the 1930s, he became a committed internationalist, arguing that conservation and global peace were as interdependent as humans and the rest of life.

Pinchot was less quotable than Muir, but he was ultimately broader-minded, concerned with the well-being of all species and aware of humanity’s capacity to be both constructive and destructive he argued that forests and other landscapes should be managed “for the benefit of all the people instead of merely for the profit of a few.” Along with Roosevelt, Grant, LeConte, and many other affluent intellectuals of his time, Pinchot was a supporter of eugenics, the practice of “improving” humanity through various controls on reproduction. Unlike them, he was outspoken in his condemnation of poverty—which he viewed as a kind of pollution that harmed all life.

Pinchot, in his own ways, was as wrongheaded as Muir he’s no icon, either. But while Muir sought to escape into a largely illusory wilderness, Pinchot understood that there is no escape from the central dilemmas of conservation, and he kept battering away at them—as today’s conservationists must continue to do. Pinchot’s most valuable legacy, as his biographer Char Miller writes, lies in his “effort to reach an ever more complex understanding of the tangled relationship between humanity and the natural world in which it exists.”


60 Rare and Unusual Vintage Signs

This process made them durable and weather-resistant. Signs made this way were known as porcelain enamel signs or simply enamel signs.

Porcelain enamel signs originated in Germany and were imported into the U.S. They quickly became a staple of outdoor advertising across the country. Around 1900, designers experimented with bold colors and graphics on the signs and they were used to advertise everything from cigarettes and beer to farm equipment and tires. Early designs were stenciled, but American designers switched to silkscreens and started using a steel base instead of iron. Later, when porcelain enamel became too costly, tin bases were used instead of steel.

Now it is difficult to find antique porcelain enamel signs in excellent condition. Collectors pay hundreds and even thousands of dollars for each addition to their collections. Many of the signs were vandalized, discarded due to etching or crazing in the finish or melted down for the metal during World War II. After the war, the signs were too expensive to manufacture, so we are left with only the dazzling pieces that remain from the era.

Signs were later made of tin and other materials and painted with enamel paint. More of these types of signs remain, but they are often rusted, scratched and distressed. After WWII, &ldquoenamel&rdquo signs were simply enamel paint on a metal, usually tin, base.

How do we make design systems work? In his upcoming Smashing workshop on Successful Design Systems, Brad Frost explains how to plan, execute and maintain a successful design system at your organization. Online, and live. June 29 – July 13, 2021.

There is a huge market for vintage signs and collectors must be wary of distressed reproductions. Often vintage signs are stamped with the date they were manufactured, while other times research and knowledge about antique signs may be required to discern a real antique from a knockoff.

Further Reading on SmashingMag:

Rare and Unusual Antique, Vintage and Retro Signs

Vintage Tin 7up Display Sign
This vintage 7up sign was made to be attached to the rods of a wire display inside a store. It is believed to have been manufactured in the 1950s or 1960s by the Indiana Wire and Specialty Company of Indianapolis, Indiana and measures 12&rdquo x 12&rdquo.

Vintage 7up Enamel Painted Store Sign
This 7up sign is stamped metal and is painted with enamel paint. It measures 20&rdquo x 18&rdquo and was manufactured in 1963 by Stout Sign Co. in St. Louis.

Southwestern Bell Porcelain Sign
This is a large metal Southwestern Bell sign, measuring approximately 28&rdquo to 30&rdquo tall and 19&rdquo to 20&rdquo wide. This sign is still faily shiny, but does have a few chips and some rust spots.

Chevrolet Bel Air Dealer Poster
In the 1950s, car dealerships used posters like this one as indoor signage. These posters were eye-catching and colorful and could be easily changed when new models were introduced.

Vintage Tin Hrobak&rsquos Beverages Sign
This is a rare sign from Hrobak&rsquos Beverages in Philadelphia. It is believed to have been made in the 1940s and measures approximately 20&rdquo x 9&rdquo.

Blue Bell Tobacco Porcelain Sign
This is a heavy steel and porcelain double sided sign. It measures 14&rdquo x 22&rdquo and is in great shape for its age.

Antique Buick Dealership Sign
This is an antique neon sign from a Buick car dealership. It was likely manufactured in the 1950s.

Cadbury&rsquos Chocolate Enamel Sign
Cadbury&rsquos chocolate is a favorite in Europe, which is likely where this antique painted enamel sign was made.

Canada Dry Beverages Porcelain Sign
This vintage sign is porcelain over metal and was manufactured for Canada Dry Beverages. It measures 24&rdquo x 7&rdquo and has chips in the porcelain and rust on the base. Despite its flaws, it is still a valuable collectors item.

Chesterfield Cigarettes Sign
This vintage Chesterfield Cigarettes sign was found hanging on the side of a shed at a gas station in North Carolina. Its age is unknown, but it is authentic. It measures 34&rdquo x 12&rdquo and was likely manufactured in the 1930s or 1940s.

** Stothers Chest & Lung Mixture Sign** This vintage sign was likely made in the 1940s. While is is slightly warped along the bottom, it is still in good condition for its age.

Large Vintage Coca-Cola Sign
This 1939 Coca-Cola sign remains in the wooden frame in which it was originally shipped. It measures 71.5&rdquo x 35.75 and has some dents and surface rust, but is still a nice piece for a collector.

Rare Coca-Cola Cardboard Sign
This Coca-Cola sign is printed on cardboard and measures 20&rdquo x 36&rdquo. It was shrink wrapped onto an acid-free backing board. Printed during the war in 1944, it features two young woman pointing to the area on the globe where their men are serving.

Post-WWII Cardboard Coca-Cola Sign
After WWII, signs had to be made more inexpensively. One option used by Coca-Cola were cardboard signs. This Coca-Cola sign was made in 1948 by Edwards & Deutsch Lith Co. in Chicago and measures 27&rdquo x 16&rdquo.

Congress Beer Pressed Tin Sign This pressed tin sign advertises Congress Beer, which was made by the Haberle Congress Brewing Company in Syracuse, New York. Age has yellowed the lettering on the sign, but it is otherwise in good condition and is a nice collectors item.

Wolf&rsquos Head Oil & Lubes
This unique sign was produced in the 1940s and is 22&rdquo x 17&rdquo. It is an original piece and has been preserved over the years so that it remains in excellent condition. This type of sign in this condition is rather rare and is sought after by the choosiest collectors.

Crown Gasoline Double Sided Porcelain Sign
This Crown Gasoine Standard Oil Company sign is double sided, which is somewhat unusal for a porcelain sign. It measures 26&rdquo square and is showing signs of its age, but is still extremely valuable.

Dad&rsquos Root Beer Tin Sign
This is a 1950s Dad&rsquos Rootbeer sign measuring 27&rdquo x 13&rdquo. It is enamel paint on a tin base and has rusted a bit around the edges.

Delaware Quality Feeds Metal Sign
This vintage Delaware Quality Feeds sign doubled as a public service announcement to warn of an upcoming cow pass. This unique piece measures 12&rdquo x 15&rdquo and is extremely weathered.

Vintage Dr. Pepper Metal Sign
This style of Dr. Pepper sign was introduced in 1958 and discontinued in the early 1970s. It measures approximately 20&rdquo x 7&rdquo and is constructed of thin sheet metal and enamel paint.

Extremely Rare Eldredge Brewing Company Sign
This antique sign was produced in the 1800s for Eldredge Brewing Company in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. It is marked &ldquoWells & Hope Co. Pat Metallic Advertising Signs, Philada, P.A.&rdquo and features an image of a man and a woman enjoying Eldredge lager beer. It measures 20&rdquo x 29&rdquo and aside from some minor wear around the edges, is in wonderful condition.

&ldquoStandard&rdquo Esso Porcelain Sign
The essense of vintage Americana, this large porcelain Esso sign is a valuable collectors item. Esso stations were the original ExxonMobile gas stations and these signs were once very common along U.S. roadways.

Vintage Foot Rest Hosiery Sign
This vintage sign measures 11.25&rdquo x 17.25 and is constructed of tin with a cardboard backing. The image of the child holding the sign is one example of classic antique advertising.

Vintage Coca-Cola Fountain Service Sign
This porcelain sign was made in 1933. It measures 25.5&rdquo x 23&rdquo and shows some signs of its age, but is still a sought-after collectors item.

Mitchell&rsquos &ldquoGolden Dawn&rdquo Cigarettes
Made in an era when smoking cigarettes was glamorized, this tin enamel sign is was designed to be simple and shiny. The name of the company and little else is displayed on the face, which is now chipped and rusting with age.

Unique Good Year Tire Porcelain Signs
These winged Good Year Tire porcelain signs are embossed on the back with &ldquoProperty of Good Year Rubber Company W-73&rdquo. These are large signs, with the larger one measuring 64&rdquo x 23&rdquo and the smaller measuring 46.5&rdquo x 17&rdquo. Both signs were originally white, but a clear lacquer has yellowed the smaller one.

Hi-Plane Tobacco Sign
This 1940s tin store sign advertises an all but forgotten brand of tobacco. It measures 35&rdquo x 12&rdquo and is a colorful collectors item.

Vintage Hires Root Beer Sign
This vintage Hires Root Beer sign measures 9.5&rdquo x 27.5&rdquo and was manufactured by Press Sign Co. in St. Louis.

Merry War Lye Sign
This vintage Merry War Lye sign was made in the 1940s. It was found in the back room of an old general store and measures 14&rdquo x 11&rdquo.

Kool Cigarettes Sign
This store sign was made in the 1950s to advertise Kool cigarettes. It measures 26&rdquo x 11&rdquo and has raised letters and design.

Leaf Spearmint Gum Sign
This Leaf Spearmint Gum sign was made in the 1940s and measures 25&rdquo x 9&rdquo and is in fairly good condition for its age. Its colorful design makes it a popular collectors item.

Miller &ldquoHigh Life&rdquo Beverages Sign
This sign is an original advertisement for Miller &ldquoHigh Life&rdquo Beverages. It was made in the 1940s and measures 20&rdquo x 13.5&rdquo.

MobileGas Porcelain Restroom Pledge Sign
This heavy porcelain sign is measures 7.5&rdquo x 7.75&rdquo. It is a rare and nostalgic piece, bound to bring back memories of the time when customer service was everything.

Vintage Mr. Cola Sign
This unique Mr. Cola sign was made in 1945 by Stout Sign Co. of St. Louis. It measures 11.75 square and the lettering is embossed.

Muratti&rsquos Cigarettes Sign
This colorful tin sign is an antique lithographed advertisement for Muratti&rsquos cigarettes. A collectors item for sure, the sign promotes cigarettes for &ldquoyoung ladies.&rdquo

Old Virginia Cheroots Sign
This turn of the century sign measures 8.5&rdquo square and is extremely rare. The graphic is lithographed onto a tin base

Green Spot Orange Drink Sign
This vintage Green Spot Orange Drink sign was used on an in-store advertising rack. It measured 22&rdquo x 19&rdquo and was manufactured by Arnamac Products Inc. in Cincinatti, Ohio.

Pabst Blue Ribbon Sign
This is a 1940s Pabst Blue Ribbon beer sign constructed of tin over cardboard, which advertises beer for 15 cents.

Pee Gee Paint Sign
This double sided porcelain Pee Gee Paint sign was made in the early 1920s. Although it is definitely showing some age, it is sitll very valuable to collectors.

Vintage Cardboard Pepsi-Cola Sign
This vintage Pepsi-Cola sign was made in the 1950s and measures 8.25&rdquo x 15&rdquo. During this time period, companies were tring to save money and printing on thick cardboard was cheaper than making metal signs.

Phillips 66 Porcelain Sign
This porcelain Phillips 66 sign was made in 1945. It is a double sided sign and likely one of the last porcelain signs of its kind. It was manufactured by Veribrite Signs in Chicago.

Red Coon Tobacco Sign
This brightly colored vintage sign measures 10&rdquo x 14&rdquo.

Vintage Redman Tobacco Die Cut Paper Sign
This original die cut Redman Tobacco sign is believed to have been made in the 1950s. It measures 20.5&rdquo x 15.5,&rdquo is made of paper and is in remarkably good condition.

Antique Railroad Sign
This antique railroad crossing sign is stamped on the back with &ldquoNational Colortype Co. Signs and Signals, Bellvue, K.Y.&rdquo It is constructed of metal and has cat eye marble reflectors.

Antique Railroad Stop Sign
This antique railroad stop sign has cat-eye marbles spelling out the word &ldquoStop,&rdquo making it a unique collectors item.

Senior Service Tobacco Sign
This unique sign is believed to have been made in the 1930s and measures 12&rdquo x 4&rdquo.

Porcelain No Smoking Gas Station Sign
This vintage porcelain &ldquoNo Smoking&rdquo sign came from a gas station. It is still in very good condition and measures 18&rdquo x 5.5&rdquo.

Vintage Squirt Soda Sign
This tin sign advertising Squirt soda was made in 1958. It features an embossed design and measures 27.5&rdquo x 9&rdquo.

Standard Feeds Metal Sign
This old metal farm sign measures 23.5&rdquo x 11.75&rdquo. It is an original made by Stout Sign Co. of St. Louis, Missouri.

Porcelain Star Tobacco Sign
This is a very early porcelain sign, likely made at the turn of the century. Signs this old and in this condition are rare and quite valuable.

&lsquo

Double Sided Star Motor Gasoline Sign
This double sided flange metal sign is measures about 12&rdquo in diameter. It is an original sign, likely produced in the 40s.

&lsquo

Raybestos Brake Service
This rare vintage sign is double sided and flanged and measures 18&rdquo x 13.75&rdquo. It is believed to have been made in the 1950s.

&lsquo

Sunbeam Bread Door Push Plate
This is a door push plate measuring 4&rdquo x 12&rdquo. It was produced in 1953, but never used, which makes it a rare item for the serious collector.

&lsquo

Vintage John Graf Sylvan Dry Soda Sign
This is a vintage tin sign that measures 20&rdquo x 11.5&rdquo. It was manufactured by Donaldson Art Sign in the 1940s.

&lsquo

Allied Mills Inc. Wayne Feeds Sign
This is an original die cut Allied Mills Inc, Wayne Feeds tin sign. It measures 14&rdquo x16&rdquo and is believed to have been made in the early 1930s.

&lsquo

Vintage Whistle Soda Sign
This 19&rdquo x 27&rdquo tin Whistle soda sign is believed to have been made in the 1930s. It features embossing on the entire design and lettering on the sign state it was manufactured by &ldquoThe American Art Works, Inc., Coshocton, O.&rdquo

&lsquo

Sweet-ORR Porcelain Sign
Sweet-ORR produced Union Made pants, shirts and overalls. This 23.5&rdquo x 10&rdquo porcelain sign has some wear, but is still in relatively good condition and would be valuable to a collector.

&lsquo

Dairy Queen License Plate Topper
This metal 6.25&rdquo license plate topper was made in the 1960s. Because this one was never used, it remains in perfect condition.

&lsquo

Antique Beech-Nut Tobacco Porcelain Sign
This is an original Regina Beech-Nut tobacco 12&rdquo x 9&rdquo porcelain sign, showing signs of its age on the edges.

&lsquo


Odd Time Signature Examples & The Musicians Who Love Them

Time signatures and measures make the difference between being an awesome musician and knowing how to play a bunch of notes in a row. By changing the timing of our notes, we create that &ldquomusical&rdquo sound that gives what we play a unique personality.

Unusual time signatures can help musicians even further, combining familiar notes and beats in crazy new ways to make incredible new sounds and songs. Some of the most legendary artists and bands in history have used these time signatures to make one of a kind beats that are recognizable for their unique sound. Check out our 7 favorite songs with unusual time signatures!

Rush – Tom Sawyer (⅞ time)

Rush is one of the most famous Canadian bands in history, and &ldquoTom Sawyer&rdquo is arguably their best-known song, featuring a great combination of standard 4/4 beats and a great instrumental breakdown in a ⅞ time signature that makes the song a powerful and exceptional rock anthem.

Pink Floyd – Money (7/4 time)

Featuring what is easily one of the most recognizable bass riffs in classic rock, Pink Floyd&rsquos &ldquoMoney&rdquo is a perfect example of unusual measures. The song&rsquos bouncy bassline leads the band on a great 7/4 time signature that gives &ldquoMoney&rdquo an unmistakable swagger, and a great jazzy feel.

The Beatles – Happiness Is a Warm Gun (4/4, 5/5, 9/8, 10/8, and on and on)

This is undoubtedly one of the Beatles&rsquo most eccentric songs, featuring mood changes and musical styles that range from doo-wop to rock to pop. The track features a dizzying series of changing time signatures that give each section of the song such a distinct feel from the others.

Outkast – Hey Ya! (Emulates an 11/4 time)

While this is actually cheating, since &ldquoHey Ya!&rdquo is technically in a 4/4 time, Andre 3000&rsquos masterful use of a standard time signature actually gives &ldquoHey Ya!&rdquo it&rsquos catchy, unforgettable beat. The song uses what&rsquos known as a cadential phrase, which combines a series of measures to create what seems like a continuous measure on a distinct signature.

Radiohead – 15 step (5/4 Time)

The opening song to Radiohead&rsquos classic In Rainbows, &ldquo15 Step&rdquo applies a rarely utilized 5/4 time signature that gives the song a strangely syncopated sound. The song maintains the beat throughout, making for a high-energy romp in electronic rock.

MGMT – Electric Feel (6/4 time)

MGMT&rsquos laid back &ldquoElectric Feel&rdquo uses a non-standard 6/4 time signature, creating some great effects. The unusual measure gives the song a bouncing that feels like taking a walk down 70s disco lane while the drums keep it strongly grounded in modern electronica.

Led Zeppelin – The Ocean (4/4+⅞ time)

Not one of Led Zeppelin&rsquos best-known tracks, the song still features a fascinating drum beat that perfectly complements Jimmy Page&rsquos unorthodox guitar riffs. The song&rsquos unusual ⅞ measures are used to build a combination of blues and Led Zeppelin&rsquos trademark heavy rock sound.


Wartime Rationing During World War II and the Effect of Public Opinion in Great Britain and Austria

During World War II, a key aspect of almost every country&rsquos wartime strategy focused heavily on limiting domestic consumption. One method governments employed to enforce control was to forcibly reduce their citizens&rsquo consumption through the implementation of rationing, a tactic that allowed governments to equally apportion a certain amount of a particular resource to many people, rather than allowing a free-for-all atmosphere when resources were limited. An Economic Intelligence Service of the League of Nations publication from 1942 details the importance of rationing during wartime, stating, &ldquothe control of consumption is a necessary condition&hellip[for] the effective mobilization of resources for war purposes.&rdquo [1] Governments who effectively employed rationing programs domestically were better able to manage resources for their war efforts abroad.

World War II Ration Stamps

Rationing became a key part of war efforts on both sides of World War II. In Great Britain, the strains of a massive war effort and severe cutbacks in trade due to enemy naval forces pushed politicians to implement elaborate rationing systems to distribute resources. On the Axis side, the German occupation of Austria forcibly restrained the availability of goods to Austrians in favor allocating resources for the German war effort. However with these cuts in consumption came social unrest citizens had mixed views of the cuts in consumption that their governments forced upon them. In short the strains caused by World War II caused citizens on both sides, in this case Great Britain and Austria, to make major cuts in consumption as a result of rationing simultaneously, governments were forced to consider and react to public opinion of rationing policy.

The Second World War forced the British Government to make drastic cuts in consumption. British Citizens were placed under enormous strain during this time&minusBritish policymakers subjected many facets of normal everyday life to cuts and quotas. In the beginning stages of the war, Great Britain was blockaded by German U-boats, which created a huge barrier to trade. [2] As a result, Great Britain had to find a way to equally distribute limited domestic resources to its population the solution to this problem was widespread rationing. In 1940 the British Government began to ration foods, a policy that would continue through the end of the war. [3] The Government categorized different foods into three categories: the first was guaranteed rationed food, comprised of rare and scarce items, the second included foods like milk, eggs, fish, fruits, and vegetables whose availability fluctuated, and the third encompassed staple foods such as bread and potatoes, which remained uncontrolled, a policy designed to stave off widespread hunger. [4] Evidently British legislators found it necessary to impose harsh restrictions on wartime food consumption to maintain a successful war effort.

The issue of rationing remained a hot topic among British citizens during and in the years immediately following the war. Gallup polls taken in the early postwar years, June 1946 to April 1949, indicated that British citizens considered food rationing one of the most important domestic issues of the time. [5] For the most part the British people viewed rationing unfavorably&minusa view reflected in the newspapers of the time. An editorial cartoon by Joseph Lee published in the Evening News in January 1940 depicts this disfavor Lee illustrates a common English person in a store asking for his ration &ldquocoupons back for confetti.&rdquo [6] This cartoon demonstrates the widespread frustration with the coupon system&minusthe system controlled so many items that it quickly became common to have more coupons than rations. With so many items being rationed with the use of coupon books, it took little time for citizens to react negatively. In 1942, Nicholas Davenport, a journalist for the city news, reported that with the introduction of food rationing &ldquoit was considered smart to circumvent the law.&rdquo [7] British citizens were not pleased with the quality of their food either&minusa British Institute of Public Opinion poll taken in 1944 found that 90% of respondents found their day-to-day food to be the same or worse than their food before the war. [8] With less food, more red tape, and lower quality of goods it is easy to see why rationing clearly created discontent among the British People.

Public opinion only became an effective tool of the masses after the war had ended. During the war, while there was discontent, the sense remained that these restrictions on food were for the good of the war effort and would culminate with the end of the war. Wartime rationing was viewed as a necessary evil that British citizens would have to temporarily contend with. [9] The result of this attitude towards rationing was that the Labour Party, the dominant force in British politics during the war, could afford to take certain licenses with the restrictions they placed on people, under the guise of their actions being taken for the good of the war effort. However, with the end of the war, Labour Party politicians neglected to sense a swing in mood&minusthe war had ended and British citizens expected a shift back to prewar consumption policy, instead they received more restrictions. In 1946, the Labour Party attempted to ration bread and potatoes, items that were previously freely available, to great public discontent. [10] Furthermore, the Labour politicians, foolishly believing they were still popular amongst the people, failed to monitor public opinion polls&minuspolls that the conservatives watched carefully. According to British historian Ina Zweiniger-Bargielowska, Gallup polls and local elections illustrated a &ldquoswing to the right,&rdquo resulting from the Conservative Party&rsquos careful catering to the public opinion of consumption control. [11] County and municipal election results show a 989 seat increase for conservatives in the period 1945-1951. [12] In short, though the Labour Party was popular during the wartime years, their failure to recognize the public reaction to their rationing policy led to their political downfall. The Conservative Party in Britain at the time took great advantage of this ignorance, recognizing the change in the political atmosphere and taking appropriate measures to manipulate it to their advantage. As a result, the Labour Party&rsquos disregard for the public opinion in response to their rationing measures led to Conservative Party politicians gaining a foothold and strengthening their position in the postwar era.

Unlike Great Britain, Austria had to deal with rationing implemented by an occupying nation&minusGermany. The fact that Austria was an occupied nation during wartime somewhat dampens the effect of public opinion on public policy the Nazis ruled Austria authoritatively and, to an extent, gave little thought to Austrian opinion. The Nazis began their control of Austria after annexing it to little protest in the Anschluss of 1938. [13] As with its own wartime economy, the Germans imposed cuts in consumption on the Austrians during the war, introducing rationing programs shortly after the establishment of the Anschluss. [14] The Germans established these programs to seize more resources for German citizens&minusAustrian historian Fritz Keller notes that in Austria &ldquothe sight of shelves that had been cleared even of staples was unknown.&rdquo [15] In short, an examination of the German economic policy for Austria reveals that the policy was designed to take advantage of the Austrian economy for German gain. Furthermore Radomir Luza, notes that the German integration of occupied countries, known as Gleichschaltung, exposed new economies to Reich and party control. [16] In Austria the Reich installed methods of controlling consumption, by placing limitations on the amounts of butter, flour, and fresh fruit that Austrians had access to. The Germans considered the Austrian popular opinion&minuswith the introduction of rationing came the introduction of hotchpotch, a recipe introduced by the Germans during the war due to its ease in being made from limited resources. Fritz notes that the Germans held a ceremony to make hotchpotch seem more appealing to the public, indicating that they did consider Austrian public opinion before they implemented rationing. [17] However, although the Germans chose to try to improve public opinion through propaganda, they failed to modify their consumption policy.

Even with Nazi efforts to try to avoid angering the Austrian public, Austrian sentiment towards rationing programs remained largely negative. The Austrians were not used to experiencing shortages during wartime as they had a surplus of resources. As a result, the false shortages that the Germans created to justify their rationing were not widely welcomed. [18] Newspapers of the time, even though they were controlled by German authorities, reported Austrian discontent, [19] proving that the public opinion was so strong that it even transcended German censorship. Austrian Housewives voiced dissent towards limits on fresh fruit, vegetables, eggs, and meat these demonstrations were serious enough that, in certain cases, police interference was required. [20] The Nazis angered the Austrians further by increasing the extent of the cuts in consumption. In March 1942 the Nazis cut food rations drastically, causing already disgruntled Austrians to start to voice their irritation with Nazi policy. [21] Although at first the Germans considered public opinion when implementing rationing policies, the harshening of consumption policy angered the Austrian population.

The Germans did, at first, attempt to prevent widespread outrage in Austria by responding to dissatisfaction amongst the masses. In response to concerns that the rations were not adequate to make proper meals, the German Women&rsquos Initiative issued booklets with tips on how to prepare meals with rations. [22] The Nazis also tried to take advantage of popular Austrian figures to appease public opinion Franz Ruhm, a popular radio personality, published a recipe book proclaiming the appetizing nature of various stews and other meals made from rations. However, with time it became apparent that the Nazis could not continue to try to appease the public and simultaneously maintain rigid control. As a result the Nazis began to implement policies regardless of public opinion. After introducing a severe increase in the amount of goods rationed in 1942, Austrian morale decreased sharply. [23] Furthermore, Hitler replaced the gauleiter of Austria with a native Berliner, angering the Austrian public. [24] A New York Times foreign correspondent in Austria described citizens as &ldquogray and listless, threadbare and weary&rdquo &minus a description that indicates the failure of German reaction to public opinion in Austria. [25] With time, as a result of the strange relationship that exists between a belligerent nation and its occupied territory, the Germans shifted to an ignorance of public opinion. This ignorance was followed by a general decrease in Austrian Morale, evidenced by the changing atmosphere depicted in the New York Times article. In short, though the Germans tried to consider and pacify increasing tensions amongst the Austrian people, inevitably the German war effort came before Austrian happiness.

Controlling consumption was fundamental to successful war efforts during World War II. It was understood that citizens had to make significant sacrifices domestically to help their soldiers abroad. In Great Britain, the British population accepted these sacrifices during wartime, however unhappily. On the other hand, in Nazi-occupied Austria, Austrians voiced malcontent with the rationing policy implemented by the Nazis during the war. In both cases, public opinion was largely negative, but they differ in their respective government&rsquos handling of public response to policy. The British government&minusspecifically the Labour Party&minusdealt with little significant controversy toward rationing policy during the war. As a result, they fell into a state of complacency, allowing rationing policy to continue in the postwar period, and thereby losing their prominence in government to the Conservative Party, who considered public opinion. Conversely, the Germans, who tried to consider Austrian opinion, maintained their authoritarian rule and gave up trying to appease the Austrians&minusthe German war effort took precedence over Austrian satisfaction. Evidently, a complex balance exists between maintaining a successful wartime effort through consumption control and maintaining the happiness of a nation&rsquos people.

Addison, Paul. The Road to 1945: British Politics and the Second World War. London: PIMLICO, 1975.

British Institute of Public Opinion, &ldquoPoll #1944-105: War/Flu,&rdquo (Roper Center for Public Opinion Research, 1944),

Bukey, Evan Burr. Hitler&rsquos Austria: Popular Sentiment in the Nazi Era, 1938-1945 . Chapel Hill: UNC UP, 2000.

Economic Intelligence Service. Wartime Rationing and Consumption . Geneva: League of Nations, 1942.

Gallup, George H. The Gallup International Public Opinion Polls: Great Britain 1937-1975, vol. 1 . New York: Random House, 1976.

Hammond, R.J.. Food, Volume I: The Growth of Policy . London, HMSO: 1951.

Keegan, John. The Second World War . New York: Penguin, 1989.

Keller, Fritz. "Eintopf for the Austrian Gourmet: How Even the Spoiled Austrians Learned to Love German Hotchpotch," Contemporary Austrian Studies 17 (Jan., 2009): 135-156.

Lee, Joseph. Smiling Through: Save For Victory . London: Evening News, 1/31/1940.

Luza, Radomir. Austro-German Relations in the Anschluss Era . Princeton: Princeton UP, 1975.

&ldquoThe &lsquoNew Order&rsquo in Vienna,&rdquo The New York Times, November 28, 1940, p. 22.

Zweiniger-Bargielowska, Ina. &ldquoRationing, Austerity and the Conservative Party Recovery after 1945,&rdquo The Historical Journal 37, no. 1 (Mar., 1994): 173-196.

[1] Economic Intelligence Service, Wartime Rationing and Consumption (Geneva: League of Nations, 1942), p. 1.

[2] John Keegan, The Second World War (New York: Penguin, 1989), p. 104.

[3] R.J. Hammond, Food, Volume I: The Growth of Policy (London, HMSO: 1951), p. 113.

[4] Ina Zweiniger-Bargielowska, &ldquoRationing, Austerity and the Conservative Party Recovery after 1945,&rdquo The Historical Journal 37, no. 1 (Mar., 1994): 177.

[5] George H. Gallup, The Gallup International Public Opinion Polls: Great Britain 1937-1975, vol. 1 , (New York: Random House, 1976) p. 148.

[6] Joseph Lee, Smiling Through: Save For Victory (London: Evening News, 1/31/1940).

[7] Paul Addison, The Road to 1945: British Politics and the Second World War (London: PIMLICO, 1975), p. 130.

[8] British Institute of Public Opinion, &ldquoPoll #1944-105: War/Flu,&rdquo (Roper Center for Public Opinion Research, 1944),

[14] Fritz Keller, "Eintopf for the Austrian Gourmet: How Even the Spoiled Austrians Learned to Love German Hotchpotch," Contemporary Austrian Studies 17 (Jan., 2009): 136.

[16] Radomir Luza, Austro-German Relations in the Anschluss Era , (Princeton: Princeton UP, 1975), p. 196.

[20] Evan Burr Bukey, Hitler&rsquos Austria: Popular Sentiment in the Nazi Era, 1938-1945 , (Chapel Hill: UNC UP 2000), p. 56.

[25] &ldquoThe &lsquoNew Order&rsquo in Vienna,&rdquo The New York Times, November 28, 1940, p. 22.

Addison, Paul. The Road to 1945: British Politics and the Second World War. London: PIMLICO, 1975.

British Institute of Public Opinion, &ldquoPoll #1944-105: War/Flu,&rdquo (Roper Center for Public Opinion Research, 1944),

Bukey, Evan Burr. Hitler&rsquos Austria: Popular Sentiment in the Nazi Era, 1938-1945 . Chapel Hill: UNC UP, 2000.

Economic Intelligence Service. Wartime Rationing and Consumption . Geneva: League of Nations, 1942.

Gallup, George H. The Gallup International Public Opinion Polls: Great Britain 1937-1975, vol. 1 . New York: Random House, 1976.

Hammond, R.J.. Food, Volume I: The Growth of Policy . London, HMSO: 1951.

Keegan, John. The Second World War . New York: Penguin, 1989.

Keller, Fritz. "Eintopf for the Austrian Gourmet: How Even the Spoiled Austrians Learned to Love German Hotchpotch," Contemporary Austrian Studies 17 (Jan., 2009): 135-156.

Lee, Joseph. Smiling Through: Save For Victory . London: Evening News, 1/31/1940.

Luza, Radomir. Austro-German Relations in the Anschluss Era . Princeton: Princeton UP, 1975.

&ldquoThe &lsquoNew Order&rsquo in Vienna,&rdquo The New York Times, November 28, 1940, p. 22.

Zweiniger-Bargielowska, Ina. &ldquoRationing, Austerity and the Conservative Party Recovery after 1945,&rdquo The Historical Journal 37, no. 1 (Mar., 1994): 173-196.

[1] Economic Intelligence Service, Wartime Rationing and Consumption (Geneva: League of Nations, 1942), p. 1.

[2] John Keegan, The Second World War (New York: Penguin, 1989), p. 104.

[3] R.J. Hammond, Food, Volume I: The Growth of Policy (London, HMSO: 1951), p. 113.

[4] Ina Zweiniger-Bargielowska, &ldquoRationing, Austerity and the Conservative Party Recovery after 1945,&rdquo The Historical Journal 37, no. 1 (Mar., 1994): 177.

[5] George H. Gallup, The Gallup International Public Opinion Polls: Great Britain 1937-1975, vol. 1 , (New York: Random House, 1976) p. 148.

[6] Joseph Lee, Smiling Through: Save For Victory (London: Evening News, 1/31/1940).

[7] Paul Addison, The Road to 1945: British Politics and the Second World War (London: PIMLICO, 1975), p. 130.

[8] British Institute of Public Opinion, &ldquoPoll #1944-105: War/Flu,&rdquo (Roper Center for Public Opinion Research, 1944),

[14] Fritz Keller, "Eintopf for the Austrian Gourmet: How Even the Spoiled Austrians Learned to Love German Hotchpotch," Contemporary Austrian Studies 17 (Jan., 2009): 136.

[16] Radomir Luza, Austro-German Relations in the Anschluss Era , (Princeton: Princeton UP, 1975), p. 196.

[20] Evan Burr Bukey, Hitler&rsquos Austria: Popular Sentiment in the Nazi Era, 1938-1945 , (Chapel Hill: UNC UP 2000), p. 56.

[25] &ldquoThe &lsquoNew Order&rsquo in Vienna,&rdquo The New York Times, November 28, 1940, p. 22.

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American Liberty Loan Bonds

The Wilson administration knew the Great War would come with a large price tag. To generate the necessary funds, Secretary of the Treasury William Gibbs McAdoo created Liberty Loan Bonds. These government bonds paid an interest rate lower than that of banks, but McAdoo utilized propaganda posters drawing on Americans’ sense of patriotism to encourage them to buy the bonds. He enlisted famous artists like Howard Chandler Christy, creator of the “Christy Girl” image, to design patriotic posters, and invited popular actors such as Charlie Chaplin, Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks to participate in bond rallies around the country.

Regardless of their financial means, a high percentage of Americans bought Liberty Loan Bonds. There were also bond campaigns spearheaded by the Girl and Boy Scouts, allowing children to participate in the war effort. During World War I, the American government issued four different Liberty Loan Bonds, while the Victory Liberty Loan Bond was established in 1919 to finish paying war expenses. The United States paid an estimated $32 billion to finance the war.


When It Comes to Conservation, Are Ugly Animals a Lost Cause?

The Earth is home to millions of species, but you wouldn’t know it from the media’s obsession with only a few dozen animals like tigers and gorillas.

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This narrow focus makes the most of popular fascination with large and cute creatures. Conservationists take advantage of these nonhuman celebrities to raise awareness about important issues and to seek donations to help save endangered animals. Given the multi-billion-dollar funding shortfall for nature conservation, public support is crucial.

Very popular species attract the most wildlife conservation funding. But what about the Nimba otter shrew, the Cuban greater funnel-eared bat or other threatened yet obscure species? And don’t all imperiled green spaces, not just the homes of snow leopards and orangutans, deserve attention?

Conventional wisdom counsels sticking with the old approach to fundraising, and conservationists tend to see animals like bats and snakes as lost causes. As conservation scientists, we wanted to discover whether marketing could perhaps rescue these species. If companies can successfully sell mops and other humdrum products, why can’t conservationists raise money to save the unglamorous giant golden mole—even if it looks like a small cushion with a nose poking out of it? We sought the answer to this question by measuring the links between marketing efforts and conservation fundraising success.

Mining activities have destroyed parts of the Nimba otter shrew’s habitat. (Flickr/Julian Bayliss, CC BY-NC-SA)

These campaigns are very different. WWF-US raises money for a broad set of projects, addressing global issues from climate change and illegal wildlife trade to forest and ocean conservation. The EDGE campaign we analyzed focuses on saving 100 threatened mammal species.

Given these contrasting approaches, we wanted to see if and when marketing makes a difference. To do this we also had to account for whether the species used for fundraising mattered. This involved measuring an animal’s “appeal,” which depends on lots of factors, such as whether it is cute, large or famous. To see which animals were the most appealing, we showed 850 conservation supporters a random selection of the animal photos featured on the WWF-US and EDGE websites and asked these volunteers to rank the photos.

Who will save the giant golden mole? (Gary Bronner, CC BY-NC-SA)

Let’s first consider WWF-US, which raises money through animal “adoptions.” When people donate, they signal their support for the well-known species. In return they get a stuffed toy, photos of the animals and adoption certificates. But the money WWF-US raised funds projects that benefit more than just the “adopted” animals.

We found two factors influenced WWF-US donors’ choices: the animals’ appeal and the degree of the threat of their extinction. Marketing efforts played no role. No matter how they were described or presented, the most appealing species always drew more donations. This was probably because people already knew and liked them.

The EDGE program raises money in a different way. It supports some universally familiar animals, like the Asian elephant, but many of the species it helps are less appealing to humans, including a variety of rats and bats. Each of these species is shown on their website, so people can click on a link to find out more and then donate.

We found that while people were generally more interested in donating to appealing species, the amount of marketing also made a difference. The animals EDGE actively promoted fared better with potential donors—including some homely ones. Similarly, pitches for the species shown higher up on EDGE’s site got more donors interested in funding the animals’ conservation.

Partnering with an EDGE staff member, we then modeled different fundraising scenarios for the 10 most appealing and 10 least appealing animals, as rated by our conservation volunteers. With no marketing effort, our model predicted that the most appealing species would raise 10 times more money than the least appealing animals. This was in line with what we expected and supported the WWF-US strategy.

However, things changed when we modeled the impact from EDGE’s marketing efforts. If the group highlighted the least appealing species by making them prominent on its website, our model predicted a 26-fold increase in donations for those specific animals. This suggests that charities could raise conservation funds for species like bats and rodents, if they tried hard enough.

Our findings indicate that conservationists have more options than they may realize to raise money to aid wildlife.

But when should they fundraise for more obscure species? The answer depends on how threatened the animal is, how much help it already gets, the cost of saving it and the chances of the project succeeding. When conservationists focus only on saving elephants, rhinos or other popular species, they often overlook these considerations.

That doesn’t mean WWF-US should end its focus on familiar animals. Since the money it raises funds broad projects that benefit more than just the “adopted” animals, catering to widespread fixations with particular species makes sense.

To be sure, our research did not measure whether marketing efforts pay off by increasing donations overall. But including more kinds of species in a campaign may boost donations—especially for endangered frogs and tarantulas or other underappreciated animals—and even plants.  It might also increase the total number of species in the public eye, highlighting the many ways everyone can help save wildlife.

Conservationists often complain animals that are important to save can get ignored. Our results suggest that they should stop complaining and start marketing.


This article was originally published on The Conversation.

Diogo Veríssimo, David H. Smith Conservation Research Fellow, Johns Hopkins University

Bob Smith, Director, Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology, University of Kent


The Next Generation

Throughout its history the Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute have worked with many partners to save species and their habitats. SCBI particularly has focused on training the next generation of conservationists. In 2008, the Smithsonian-Mason School of Conservation was established at SCBI headquarters in Front Royal, Virginia, enabling undergraduate, graduate, and post-doctoral students to study with SCBI scientists and George Mason University professors. The Cornell-Smithsonian Joint Graduate Training Program, which has been accepting applications since 2011, allows students to benefit from the dual mentorship of a Cornell faculty member and an SCBI scientist. The program’s very first student produced the first domestic puppies from in vitro fertilization in 2015, solving some of the mystery of canid reproduction.


International Provisions of the Magnuson–Stevens Reauthorization Act:

The Magnuson–Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Reauthorization Act of 2006, which amended the High Seas Driftnet Fishing Moratorium Protection Act, directs the United States to strengthen international fisheries management organizations and to address illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing and bycatch of protected living marine resources. The Moratorium Protection Act was further amended in 2011 by the Shark Conservation Act to improve the conservation of sharks domestically and internationally.

The Moratorium Protection Act requires NOAA Fisheries to produce a biennial Report to Congress that lists nations the United States has identified for IUU fishing and/or bycatch of protected species and shark catches on the high seas for nations that do not have regulatory measures comparable to the United States.

Once a nation is identified, we enter a 2-year consultation process to encourage that nation to take necessary measures to address the issue for which it was identified. Following these consultations, NOAA Fisheries determines whether to negatively or positively certify the identified nation in the next Report to Congress.

A positive certification is issued if the nation has provided evidence of actions that address the activities for which it was identified. A negative certification may result in denial of U.S. port access for fishing vessels of that nation, and potential import restrictions on fish or fish products.

Modernizing Recreational Fisheries Management Act

On December 31, 2018, the Magnuson – Stevens Act was amended by the Modernizing Recreational Fisheries Management Act. The Modern Fish Act focuses on improvements to recreational fishing data and management of mixed-use fisheries. The law includes requirements for new reports, studies, and guidance related to fisheries management and science.


Shark Conservation Act

Sharks are among the ocean's top predators and are vital to the natural balance of marine ecosystems. They are also a valuable recreational species and food source. To help protect these important marine species, the United States has some of the strongest shark management measures worldwide. Under the authority of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MSA), NOAA Fisheries manages sharks in U.S. federal waters using fishery management plans.

The Shark Finning Prohibition Act of 2000 amended the MSA to prohibit shark finning—a process of removing shark fins at sea and discarding the rest of the shark—in the United States. The law prohibits any person under U.S. jurisdiction from engaging in the finning of sharks, possessing shark fins aboard a fishing vessel without the corresponding carcass, and landing shark fins without the corresponding carcass. The Shark Finning Prohibition Act also requires NOAA Fisheries to provide Congress with an annual report describing our efforts to implement the law.

On January 4, 2011, the Shark Conservation Act of 2010 was signed into law, amending the High Seas Driftnet Fishing Moratorium Protection Act and the MSA. The Shark Conservation Act requires that all sharks in the United States, with one exception, be brought to shore with their fins naturally attached. There are three rules that implement the requirements of the Shark Conservation Act:

Savings clause for individuals who commercially fish for smooth dogfish.

Domestic provisions that allow for sustainably managed shark fisheries while eliminating the harmful practice of finning.

Several states have shark fin laws that prohibit the possession and/or retention of shark fins (even if they are legally landed under the requirements of the Shark Conservation Act). Based on discussions with these states and information provided to NOAA Fisheries, we do not believe these state laws conflict with the MSA. Learn more in our exchange of letters with 10 states and territories: