Although the idea of recycling seems new to those who have grown up in
the age of mass production and disposable goods it is not a modern
concept. The practice of reusing and
recycling has ebbed and flowed throughout history.
Difficult economic times of the 1930s, followed by the high demand for
goods during WWII led to increased conservation and recycling efforts. Citizens were asked to help through scrap
Before the United States even entered WWII an aluminum drive was
organized in Transylvania County. The
Boy Scouts of Brevard initiated an informal contest between town and county
residents. The Girl Scouts and Junior
Missionary Club joined in collecting items from town residents. In the county, 4-H and Grange Clubs gathered
the items. Together they collected
approximately 300 pounds of aluminum during the first week of August 1941.
|A load of scrap metal for the war effort, October 19, 1942.|
A statewide scrap metal drive sponsored by North Carolina newspapers in October
1942 offered prizes for largest poundage collected. Transylvania County placed 2nd
with a total of 2,491,031 pounds. The
county was awarded a $500 war bond or a cash equivalent to be used for public
The Salvage Committee opted for the cash prize of $375. The money was donated to the Monroe Wilson Post
of the American Legion, local schools, Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts.
On the county level $25 war bonds were given to the business or
individual reporting the largest poundage, the school with the highest per
student amount and the junior organization and women’s organization with the
Ecusta was the largest industrial contributor in the county with 879,883
pounds. The school prize went to Pisgah Forest School. They collected 467 pounds per student. No women’s organizations participated so the
2nd place school, Brevard High, was awarded a prize as well. Harry Straus donated Ecusta’s $25 war bond
prize to the 3rd place school, Little River. The Junior Commandos won the prize for junior
In addition to providing valuable resources to the government scrap
drives offered citizens a means of contributing to and aiding in the war
information for this column are provided by the Rowell Bosse North Carolina
Room, Transylvania County Library. Visit
the NC Room during regular library hours (Monday-Friday) to learn more about
our history and see additional photographs.
For more information, comments or suggestions contact Marcy at [email protected]
or 828-884-3151 X242.