looking for info! WW2 paper salvage drives and GA losses
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Hi there, 

Does anyone know what impact the paper drives during the War had on the number of comics that survived the era?  I'm curious to know if more books were thrown out than recycled for the war or any other anecdotal information related to comic books survival due to paper salvage.  There are a variety of articles about paper salvage but almost none reference comic books or have any detailed info about how the paper drives were conducted and how much loss of comics can be attributed to it.  The Gerber Guides briefly makes reference to the paper drives during the War as being one of the reasons Golden Age books didn't survive but there isn't much information shared other than that.  If you have information, articles or theories -  please share!  Thanks

 

 

paper drives.jpg

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I have no detailed info and probably very little if any was compiled. Like newspapers and other magazines, they were just considered temporary entertainment with no real fiscal value at the time. 

Makes me think of the ton’s of comics were burned in the 1950’s “comic scare”. I’ve seen them loaded up by the truck full in old photos.

Hard to believe kids would do that willingly. Anything my parents didn’t approve of, got stashed up in a wooden box in the treehouse!

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Posted (edited)

Cool subject.

Photo of (formerly) my All Winners #12

IMAG1061.jpg

 

Here is a nice article with good general info, yet no specific numbers or data: http://www.sarahsundin.com/make-it-do-scrap-drives-in-world-war-ii-2/

I've personally guesstimated only about one-tenth (0.1%) of published books from the war/pre war Golden Age survive to this day, regardless of reason.

 

Edited by path4play

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I notice that Cap isn’t urging kids to recycle HIS mags...:roflmao:

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I was personally involved in many "Paper Drives" as a kid both at school and on my own...never saw one comic book

in any of the bundles I handled...lots of LIFE and LOOK magazines.

Marty

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Posted (edited)

How many Action 1s, Tec 27s, CA 1s, etc do you think are in this pile?

573354b2b49d8.image.thumb.jpg.33cada1783fb015d3f354e4ca17d4a62.jpg

Edited by telerites

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2 hours ago, telerites said:

How many Action 1s, Tec 27s, CA 1s, etc do you think are in this pile?

573354b2b49d8.image.thumb.jpg.33cada1783fb015d3f354e4ca17d4a62.jpg

Great photo. But as Marty said, he never saw any comics. Wouldn't kids of that era pull any out and keep them? I know I would have. I think more comics of this era are just lost to time more than the paper drives.

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34 minutes ago, Robot Man said:

Great photo. But as Marty said, he never saw any comics. Wouldn't kids of that era pull any out and keep them? I know I would have. I think more comics of this era are just lost to time more than the paper drives.

I was being facetious than anything, RM.  Probably should have added some emoticon.  

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14 hours ago, Robot Man said:

I notice that Cap isn’t urging kids to recycle HIS mags...:roflmao:

...or ANY comics for that matter...some kids probably breathed a HUGE sigh of relief as they read the categories and saw that comics were NOT mentioned.

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, telerites said:

How many Action 1s, Tec 27s, CA 1s, etc do you think are in this pile?

573354b2b49d8.image.thumb.jpg.33cada1783fb015d3f354e4ca17d4a62.jpg

I don't know, but knowing me as a 10 year old, I would have been doing some pile diving to check - after the crowd had dispersed.

Edited by pemart1966

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4 minutes ago, pemart1966 said:

I don't know, but knowing me as a 10 year old, I would have been doing some pile diving to check - after the crowd had dispersed.

In that case, I hope it wasn't intended to be a bonfire  :nyah:

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18 minutes ago, pemart1966 said:

I don't know, but knowing me as a 10 year old, I would have been doing some pile diving to check - after the crowd had dispersed.

My guess is that not many comics were actually thrown away (by kids) since there were plenty of other kinds of scrap paper to be tossed. Here is a second picture of the same paper scrap drive where these Norfolk Virginia kids collected 13965 pounds of scrap paper in one day. Notice one kid is proudly showing one of the items he saved- a pinup poster from either a soda or beer ad. Photos were taken on May 10 1944.
 

norfolk scrap.jpg

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6 hours ago, Marty Mann said:

I was personally involved in many "Paper Drives" as a kid both at school and on my own...never saw one comic book

in any of the bundles I handled...lots of LIFE and LOOK magazines.

Marty

Same here.  Plenty of newspapers and larger sized magazines, but really never any comics.  Off topic, but here's a pic of a classroom with those awful comics, in 1955.

1955 classroom a.jpg

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3 hours ago, telerites said:

In that case, I hope it wasn't intended to be a bonfire  :nyah:

I think that it was strictly re-cycling...

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Posted (edited)
39 minutes ago, fifties said:

Same here.  Plenty of newspapers and larger sized magazines, but really never any comics.  Off topic, but here's a pic of a classroom with those awful comics, in 1955.

1955 classroom a.jpg

CHILDREN!!!!   CHILDREN!!!!!!!!!!  Please think of comic collectors 20, 30, 40, 50, 60 years from now and be careful with those comics!!!!!

Edited by pemart1966

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1 hour ago, pemart1966 said:

I think that it was strictly re-cycling...

I'm not doing a good job being sarcastic.  Just joshing with you about a bonfire.

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Posted (edited)

Not sure a forum of ardent comic collectors is truly representative of what might have happened to 99.9% comics during WWII?

Sure, you wouldn't have tossed them.  Indeed thankfully some didn't - but I'd reckon just by the survival numbers that many did.  After all put yourself into the war era and consider what was most important and top of mind.  Likely for most the unification around the war effort as family members shipped out superseded stashing comic books.  Let's face it, not every kid held on for years every book they read.  Parents also likely interceded.

Yes, most paper was likely newspapers, and on the margin comics survival rates seems to have fared better.  Real numbers are probably impossible to know.  But I believe its slightly miss-leading to suggest none or very few were lost to WWII paper drives.

8c34774r.jpg

 

 

 

Edited by path4play

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Looks like vast majority is newspapers and magazines.  But I have spotted one 10c peaking out!

N082_0419_001.jpg

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The book, "Ten Cent Plaque," has some great stories on the round-up of comics in the fifties to get them out of the hands of kids and into the bonfires!

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4 hours ago, 50YrsCollctngCmcs said:

The book, "Ten Cent Plaque," has some great stories on the round-up of comics in the fifties to get them out of the hands of kids and into the bonfires!

The first time I had ever heard of comic book bonfires was either in Ernie Gerber's Photo history, or if not then sometime this century.  Never heard of one nor saw one from the time I started school in 1949.  Now I DO remember my mother, as a member of the PTA, trying to get comics banned or controlled.

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