Milkweed Pod Collection Program
Scrapbook, 1944
Individual Items
(UA 10/7/9)

Size: 2 boxes

History:
Before WWII, the United Stated imported kapok (fibers from the seed pods of the silk-cotton trees) for filling life jackets. When the Japanese captured the East Indies, the supply of kapok was cut off. Milkweed floss turned out to be the best substitute for kapok. Although commerical raising was possible, it takes three years for a plant to produce large, full pods, so wild plants were needed for immediate use. The US Department of Agriculture turned to the public for assistants. Farmers were asked not to mow the roadsides and fields where the plants (long regarded by them as a pest) grew until the pods were ready for harvesting. Hundreds of school children were involved in picking the pods.

William W. Smith, a member of the horticulture department at UNH since 1936, was given leave from his duties at UNH to supervise the milkweed pod collection program for New Hampshire and Vermont.

Scope and Content:
This series contains the photographs and related materials from a scrapbook compiled by William W. Smith of the milkweed pod collection program for New Hampshire and Vermont.

Inventory:

Box 1
e. 1 Caroline and Marion "Dolly" Lord with pod sacks
e. 2 Blossom
e. 3 Seed and floss
e. 4 Pods
e. 5 A seed carried by the bouyant floss
e. 6 Opened pods, showing seeds
e. 7 Jim Craig and Jim Funkhouser inspect the milkweed pods for maturity
e. 8 Inspecting pods for maturity
e. 9 Caroline and Marion "Dolly" Lord with pod sacks
e.10 Caroline and Marion Lord harvesting their milkweed pods at Gilford, NH
e.11 The Lord girls harvesting
e.12 The Lord girls with full sacks
e.13 These village school children from Gilford, NH harvested 140 bags of pods
e.14 children harvesting
e.15 Mr. Henry Gunning visits NH to check up on pod collection
e.16 Dolly Lord harvesting
e.17 Philip Rowe harvesting
e.18 Two girls holding onion bag full of pods
e.19 Two girls holding onion bag full of pods
e.20 Robert Weeks harvesting
e.21 Richard Colbath, Sanbornville, NH, cuts down bags of dried pods hanging in his garage
e.22 Ronald Wiggett of Swift Water Farm, Woodsvill, NH picked 47 bags
e.23 School children at Goshen, NH help load the truck.
e.24 School children at Goshen, NH help load the truck.
e.25 Gilford school bus takes children to the milkweed fields
e.26 School girls harvesting
e.27 School girls holding bag of pods
e.28 Frank Fowler with bag of pods
e.29 Milkwood pod pickers with their crop in front of school, Laconia, NH
e.30 Monroe school had 47 bags
e.31 Denis Chase, Bath, NH contributed 7 bags
e.32 This drying rack built by the janito does a good job
e.33 Tim Craig and Jim Funkhouser think these pod are about ready to harvest
e.34 Village school, Durham, NH picked 70 bags
e.35 Village school, Durham, NH picked 70 bags
e.36 Mr. Gunning supervising milkweed pod collection for Eastern US inspects bags at Durham Village school
e.37 In J.H. Frye's school district at Marlboro, NH 424 bags of pods were dried on this rack.
e.38 Bags of pods on drying racks, Marlboro, NH
e.39 Bags of pods on drying racks, Marlboro, NH
e.40 Children help remove bags of dried pods from racks, Marlboro, NH
e.41 Children help remove bags of dried pods from racks, Marlboro, NH
e.42 Mr. Bruce Bachanan, Brattleboro, Vt. 4-H Club leader for Windham county with his crew at Townsend, Vt,
e.43 Boys loading bags onto trucks, Townsend, Vt.
e.44 Boys loading bags onto trucks, Townsend, Vt.
e.45 Boys loading bags onto trucks, Townsend, Vt.
e.46 Boys loading bags onto trucks, Townsend, Vt.
e.47 Bags hanging in the tree dried slowly. Those on the swing set better. Bags need to be in sunlight and exposed to breeze. [East Dorset, Vt.]
e.48 Hanging crop up to dry at East Dorset, Vt. Miss Marion Hardy, 4-H Club leader for Benninton County, paying the pickers
e.49 Bags on swing set and in trees [East Dorset, Vt.]
e.50 Bags on swing set and in trees [East Dorset, Vt.]
e.51 Albert Noyes, 75 years young of N. Bennington, Rd., Bennington, Vt. contributed 326 bags of milkweed pods
e.52 Albert Noyes wearing life jacket
e.53 Members of the Sisters 4-H Club and Victory 4-H Club at S. Shaftsbury, Vt. inspecting a life jacket
e.54 Team work at the East Dorset, Vt. school
e.55 Members of the Sisters 4-H Club and Victory 4-H Club. In the final count the Sisters picked the most bags and were served dinner by the boys.
e.56 Members of the Sisters 4-H Club and Victory 4-H Clubs.
e.57 Members of the Sisters 4-H Club
e.58 Mr. Gunning and William Smith inspecting bags of pods
e.59 Several ways to dry bags of pods
e.60 Drying bags in trees
e.61 Drying bags on chain link fence
e.62 Drying bags on clothes line and porch rail
e.63 Drying bags on tree limb
e.64 Drying bags on swing set
e.65 Mr. William Clark, co-operator for Addison County, Vt. reties a bag a a collection point
e.66 Miss Clark and Daddy (William Clark) of Middlebury, Vt. take milkweed pods to the truck

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Box 2
e.67 Miss Clark carries this bag by herself
e.68 Truck taking bags to freight car
e.69 Katherine and Gerald Lurner of Burlington, Vt. refill bags
e.70 Katherine and Gerald Lurner of Burlington, Vt. refill bags
e.71 Mr. E. E. Bergstrom of Rutland, Vt, 4-H Club leader for Rutland County, inspects some of his 2250 bags of pods for dryness
e.72 Miss Clark found another bag
e.73 Katherine and Gerald Lurner of Burlington, Vt. with Mrs. Lawrence, 4-H Club leader for Chittenden County
e.74 Mrs. Lawrence hangs pods on ropes, [porch rail and clothes line] to dry.
e.75 Bags hanging on ropes to dry
e.76 Bags hanging on porch rails to dry
e.77 Mrs. Isabelle Barden of Woodstock, Vt., 4-H Club leader for Windsor County helps Bill Purington and Tenny Wheeler collect bags.
e.78 Pods in these bags were in excellent condition when taken from chain-link fence
e.79 A Problem, the price is 20 cents a bag
e.80 Chain-link fences are ideal drying racks
e.81 Harvesters and their crop at Plainfield School, Plainfield, Vt.
e.82 Some of Washington County's 2439 bags of Milkweed pods
e.83 Harvesters and crop
e.84 Harvesters and crop
e.85 Warren, NH school kept their bags of pods on this rail in good shape
e.86 The school put thier bags on the yard fence at Pike, NH
e.87 Caroline Lord (cropped from #1)
e.88 Marion "Dolly" Lord, (cropped from #1)
e.89 Numbers on these bags indicate weight in lbs. Some are dryer than others
e.90 Loading two cars at Enfield, NH
e.91 Equipment and superstructure on the Soil Conservation Service truck makes it easy to collect 1000 bags of pods
e.92 Equipment: man holding bags and life jacket in front of truck (cropped from #95)
e.93 Equipment: man on back of truck
e.94 Equipment: man standing on top of loaded truck
e.95 Equipment: man holding bags and life jacket in front of truck
e.96 Equipment: tarp covers loaded truck
e.97 Equipment: unloading truck
e.98 From truck to freigt car
e.99 Milkweed blossom
e.100 The last bag in the last car
e.101 Bag of improperly cared for pods
e.102 Snow comes early in NH and Vt.
e.103 Unloading 1000 bags of milkweed pods from the SCS truck at Newmarket, NH
e.104 Unloading the SCS truck at Newmarket, NH
e.105 Unloading the SCS truck at Newmarket, NH
e.106 Unloading the SCS truck at Newmarket, NH
e.107 Milkweed pods (10x14)
e.108 Newspaper articles
e.109 Correspondence
e.110 Printed materials

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