Scrap Metal in World War II

Scrap metal recycling has been around for a long time. One of its most influential appearances in history was during World War II when scrap metal drives were organized to collect metal to turn into tanks, ships, planes and weapons. Direct Metals Recycling of Atlanta, GA wasn’t around back then, but we take a look back to see  how scrap metal helped influence the war efforts during the 1940s. Vintage Scrap Metal Recycling

The US was in a state of total war and the line between military and civilian resources had been virtually erased. A single tank required 18 tons of metal to construct, and one of the navy’s biggest ships required 900 tons of metal for completion. This was a time when everything was being rationed, and all of the US resources were being poured into the war efforts to help the Allies reign victorious. In an effort to support our military, community groups, schools, even celebrities were hosting scrap metal drives. Any kind of metal was accepted – anything from the bumpers off of your car, chicken wire, tractors,  to old shovel heads – everything was important and could be made into something to benefit the war efforts.

Once metal was collected, it was sent to smelters and blast furnaces to be melted down and remade into the necessary parts and materials for whatever war paraphernalia was in production. From one county in Missouri, nearly 300 tons of scrap was collected. The most precious metal needed for war production was copper, and it was in short supply.

Other scrap drives that were organized by the US government included paper and rubber to cover shortages for the war efforts, apart from military machinery production. All efforts combined reaped in a total of 17 million tons of scrap metal that the Allies were able to utilize in their efforts against the Axis powers.

Unfortunately, while the scrap metal drives did their part to aid the US during a time of need, we did loose some historical artifacts to the overzealous patriotism. One piece in particular was a cannon from Fort Omaha that was used in the Spanish-American war.

Thankfully, those days have passed, and now your scrap metal that you bring in for cash at Direct Metals Recycling primarily goes into the manufacturing of new cars. Bring us your extra scrap metal and get top dollar!

Img from Flickr.