Guide to the Milkweed Pod Collection Program Scrapbook, 1944

Collection number: UA 10/7/9
Size: 2 boxes (0.66 cu.ft.)

About Milkweed Pod Collection Program

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.

About the Milkweed Pod Collection Program Scrapbook

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.

Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

This collection is open.

Copyright Notice

Copyright is retained by the University of New Hampshire.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Milkweed Pod Collection Program Scrapbook, 1944, UA 10/7/9, Milne Special Collections and Archives, University of New Hampshire Library, Durham, NH, USA.

Acquisitions Information

These records were transferred to the University Library for storage prior to the establishment of the University Archives in 1992.

Collection Contents

Box 1
Box 1, Envelope 1Caroline and Marion "Dolly" Lord with pod sacks
Box 1, Envelope 2Blossom
Box 1, Envelope 3Seed and floss
Box 1, Envelope 4Pods
Box 1, Envelope 5A seed carried by the bouyant floss
Box 1, Envelope 6Opened pods, showing seeds
Box 1, Envelope 7Jim Craig and Jim Funkhouser inspect the milkweed pods for maturity
Box 1, Envelope 8Inspecting pods for maturity
Box 1, Envelope 9Caroline and Marion "Dolly" Lord with pod sacks
Box 1, Envelope 10Caroline and Marion Lord harvesting their milkweed pods at Gilford, NH
Box 1, Envelope 11The Lord girls harvesting
Box 1, Envelope 12The Lord girls with full sacks
Box 1, Envelope 13These village school children from Gilford, NH harvested 140 bags of pods
Box 1, Envelope 14children harvesting
Box 1, Envelope 15Mr. Henry Gunning visits NH to check up on pod collection
Box 1, Envelope 16Dolly Lord harvesting
Box 1, Envelope 17Philip Rowe harvesting
Box 1, Envelope 18Two girls holding onion bag full of pods
Box 1, Envelope 19Two girls holding onion bag full of pods
Box 1, Envelope 20Robert Weeks harvesting
Box 1, Envelope 21Richard Colbath, Sanbornville, NH, cuts down bags of dried pods hanging in his garage
Box 1, Envelope 22Ronald Wiggett of Swift Water Farm, Woodsvill, NH picked 47 bags
Box 1, Envelope 23School children at Goshen, NH help load the truck.
Box 1, Envelope 24School children at Goshen, NH help load the truck.
Box 1, Envelope 25Gilford school bus takes children to the milkweed fields
Box 1, Envelope 26School girls harvesting
Box 1, Envelope 27School girls holding bag of pods
Box 1, Envelope 28Frank Fowler with bag of pods
Box 1, Envelope 29Milkwood pod pickers with their crop in front of school, Laconia, NH
Box 1, Envelope 30Monroe school had 47 bags
Box 1, Envelope 31Denis Chase, Bath, NH contributed 7 bags
Box 1, Envelope 32This drying rack built by the janito does a good job
Box 1, Envelope 33Tim Craig and Jim Funkhouser think these pod are about ready to harvest
Box 1, Envelope 34Village school, Durham, NH picked 70 bags
Box 1, Envelope 35Village school, Durham, NH picked 70 bags
Box 1, Envelope 36Mr. Gunning supervising milkweed pod collection for Eastern US inspects bags at Durham Village school
Box 1, Envelope 37In J.H. Frye's school district at Marlboro, NH 424 bags of pods were dried on this rack.
Box 1, Envelope 38Bags of pods on drying racks, Marlboro, NH
Box 1, Envelope 39Bags of pods on drying racks, Marlboro, NH
Box 1, Envelope 40Children help remove bags of dried pods from racks, Marlboro, NH
Box 1, Envelope 41Children help remove bags of dried pods from racks, Marlboro, NH
Box 1, Envelope 42Mr. Bruce Bachanan, Brattleboro, Vt. 4-H Club leader for Windham county with his crew at Townsend, Vt,
Box 1, Envelope 43Boys loading bags onto trucks, Townsend, Vt.
Box 1, Envelope 44Boys loading bags onto trucks, Townsend, Vt.
Box 1, Envelope 45Boys loading bags onto trucks, Townsend, Vt.
Box 1, Envelope 46Boys loading bags onto trucks, Townsend, Vt.
Box 1, Envelope 47Bags 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.]
Box 1, Envelope 48Hanging crop up to dry at East Dorset, Vt. Miss Marion Hardy, 4-H Club leader for Benninton County, paying the pickers
Box 1, Envelope 49Bags on swing set and in trees [East Dorset, Vt.]
Box 1, Envelope 50Bags on swing set and in trees [East Dorset, Vt.]
Box 1, Envelope 51Albert Noyes, 75 years young of N. Bennington, Rd., Bennington, Vt. contributed 326 bags of milkweed pods
Box 1, Envelope 52Albert Noyes wearing life jacket
Box 1, Envelope 53Members of the Sisters 4-H Club and Victory 4-H Club at S. Shaftsbury, Vt. inspecting a life jacket
Box 1, Envelope 54Team work at the East Dorset, Vt. school
Box 1, Envelope 55Members 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.
Box 1, Envelope 56Members of the Sisters 4-H Club and Victory 4-H Clubs.
Box 1, Envelope 57Members of the Sisters 4-H Club
Box 1, Envelope 58Mr. Gunning and William Smith inspecting bags of pods
Box 1, Envelope 59Several ways to dry bags of pods
Box 1, Envelope 60Drying bags in trees
Box 1, Envelope 61Drying bags on chain link fence
Box 1, Envelope 62Drying bags on clothes line and porch rail
Box 1, Envelope 63Drying bags on tree limb
Box 1, Envelope 64Drying bags on swing set
Box 1, Envelope 65Mr. William Clark, co-operator for Addison County, Vt. reties a bag a a collection point
Box 1, Envelope 66Miss Clark and Daddy (William Clark) of Middlebury, Vt. take milkweed pods to the truck
Box 2
Box 2, Envelope 67Miss Clark carries this bag by herself
Box 2, Envelope 68Truck taking bags to freight car
Box 2, Envelope 69Katherine and Gerald Lurner of Burlington, Vt. refill bags
Box 2, Envelope 70Katherine and Gerald Lurner of Burlington, Vt. refill bags
Box 2, Envelope 71Mr. E. E. Bergstrom of Rutland, Vt, 4-H Club leader for Rutland County, inspects some of his 2250 bags of pods for dryness
Box 2, Envelope 72Miss Clark found another bag
Box 2, Envelope 73Katherine and Gerald Lurner of Burlington, Vt. with Mrs. Lawrence, 4-H Club leader for Chittenden County
Box 2, Envelope 74Mrs. Lawrence hangs pods on ropes, [porch rail and clothes line] to dry
Box 2, Envelope 75Bags hanging on ropes to dry
Box 2, Envelope 76Bags hanging on porch rails to dry
Box 2, Envelope 77Mrs. Isabelle Barden of Woodstock, Vt., 4-H Club leader for Windsor County helps Bill Purington and Tenny Wheeler collect bags
Box 2, Envelope 78Pods in these bags were in excellent condition when taken from chain-link fence
Box 2, Envelope 79A Problem, the price is 20 cents a bag
Box 2, Envelope 80Chain-link fences are ideal drying racks
Box 2, Envelope 81Harvesters and their crop at Plainfield School, Plainfield, Vt.
Box 2, Envelope 82Some of Washington County's 2439 bags of Milkweed pods
Box 2, Envelope 83Harvesters and crop
Box 2, Envelope 84Harvesters and crop
Box 2, Envelope 85Warren, NH school kept their bags of pods on this rail in good shape
Box 2, Envelope 86The school put thier bags on the yard fence at Pike, NH
Box 2, Envelope 87Caroline Lord (cropped from #1)
Box 2, Envelope 88Marion "Dolly" Lord, (cropped from #1)
Box 2, Envelope 89Numbers on these bags indicate weight in lbs. Some are dryer (sic) than others
Box 2, Envelope 90Loading two cars at Enfield, NH
Box 2, Envelope 91Equipment and superstructure on the Soil Conservation Service truck makes it easy to collect 1000 bags of pods
Box 2, Envelope 92Equipment: man holding bags and life jacket in front of truck (cropped from #95)
Box 2, Envelope 93Equipment: man on back of truck
Box 2, Envelope 94Equipment: man standing on top of loaded truck
Box 2, Envelope 95Equipment: man holding bags and life jacket in front of truck
Box 2, Envelope 96Equipment: tarp covers loaded truck
Box 2, Envelope 97Equipment: unloading truck
Box 2, Envelope 98From truck to freight cars
Box 2, Envelope 99Milkweed blossom
Box 2, Envelope 100The last bag in the last car
Box 2, Envelope 101Bag of improperly cared for pods
Box 2, Envelope 102 Snow comes early in NH and Vt.
Box 2, Envelope 103Unloading 1000 bags of milkweed pods from the SCS truck at Newmarket, NH
Box 2, Envelope 104Unloading the SCS truck at Newmarket, NH
Box 2, Envelope 105Unloading the SCS truck at Newmarket, NH
Box 2, Envelope 106Unloading the SCS truck at Newmarket, NH
Box 2, Envelope 107Milkweed pods (10x14)
Box 2, Envelope 108Newspaper articles
Box 2, Envelope 109Correspondence
Box 2, Envelope 110Printed materials