The Baltimore Sun from Baltimore, Maryland on January 18, 1942 · 43
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The Baltimore Sun from Baltimore, Maryland · 43

Baltimore, Maryland
Issue Date:
Sunday, January 18, 1942
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r 1 H Not the least of the benefits accruing from war gardening are the exercise and discipline which it gives the younger gardeners Avoiding 1917 War Garden Errors TT tvJXLIKE 1917 when patriotic Americans ploughed up parks and playgrounds in .an enthusiastic, but somewhat misguided effort to produce more food to win the war, entry of the United States into World War II found the nation ready with a comprehensive gardening program based upon experience gained in that earlier conflict and upon research of . the past twenty-three years. Experience with the draft in the first World War revealed that twenty-five per cent, of the men examined for service were turned down for physical defects traceable to insufficient food cr a faculty diet. Later surveys undertaken by various' agencies served to emphasize this preva? lence of malnutrition, and, about two years ago, President Roosevelt appointed a commission to make a comprehensive study of food conditions in the United States. This commission found that one-third of the people in the nation were suffering from improper diet. AV w Target This Time Consequently, the United States Department ef Agriculture, throuph agencies such as AAA, FSA and its own extension service, launched a program to educate the public in proper food habits and to encourage farm families to grow their own fruits and vegetables. A Presidential order of September 3, 1941, placed the defense activities of all agencies dealing wjth health, nutrition, recreation and welfare "under the Office of Defense Health and Welfare Services. Outbreak of the present war found this office ready with a program to be carried out through State and local defense councils, and by means f which it hopes to direct the gardening efforts of -Americans to achieve the greatest possible results for the nation's all-out war effort. Old files of the National War Garden Commission show that more than 3,000,000 war gardens yielded food crops estimated to be worth $350,-000.000 in 1917. The following year the number of war gardens was almost doubled. But today's plans for a national "Victory Garden program contain no emphasis on huge food production. In 1917 the slogan was "food will win th war" and emphasis was upon increased pro Baltimore-made insulators like the ones electricity on its proper paths all over the " ' BALTlMOKE.UAtOtLAND By FLOYD duction of foodstuffs; today's slogan-is "vegetables for vitality for victory" and the aim is primarily to improve the quality of home food consumption and thereby increase the health and vigor of Americans. More Than A Million However, popular interest in gardening as a war effort has not diminished since the days of the first World War. According to a report from the Office of Civilian Defense, in Washington, the number of inquiries concerning defense gardens and agricultural work have exceeded those concerning any other single subject in the weeks since the outbreak of war. By coordinating all civilian war efforts and localizing leadership through local defense councils, officials hope to direct this universal desire to "do something" into activity which will accomplish the most good in every community. At a recent national victory garden conference held in Washington, Secretary of Agriculture Claude R. Wickard, said that an increase of about 1,300,000 home vegetable gardens is the goal for 1942. "I do not think the nation will benefit at present from a widespread, all-out campaign intended to put a vegetable garden in every city back yard or on every vacant lot," he added. However, Mr. 'Wickard favored the idea of families producing their own fruits and vegetables.' whenever practicable, for several reasons. Home supply of such foods assures increased consumption and resultant improvement of health, enabling individuals to work harder and longer. It frees transport facilities for speedier handling of much-needed war materials and releases more of the commercial fruit and vegetable production for feeding the rest of the American people, the armed forces and their allies. . , War Activity First Secretary Wickard favored ornamental gardening as an aid to morale but with reservations. "The first thing for every citizen in planning his time off his job is to make sure he' carrying his share of the community load in on this transmission tower are keeping world and under all weather conditions CurrlaM, 1M3, fcf Th A. . AbU company. riMlw f IV (to. MAGAZINE B. LYLE war activities," he said. "If a man or woman is perfectly sure he has done that,' and then has some energy left for ornamental gardening around his home, it's just about as rewarding a thing as he can do." A calm and orderly approach to the garden program, as to all other war effort, is b, eing stressed by national leaders. They say that every local defense council should have a Committee or person primarily interested in jfood supply and nutrition properly to organize the garden program of the community. Only in this way can there 'be' assurance that energy and materials needed elsewhere in the war effort will not be expended on gardening, and that the program will be designed to meet the most pressing needs of the community. State conferences will be held soon to correlate the victory garden program with other wartime activities of the various States and to adapt it to local needs. Hasty Action Wasteful 1 " Emphasizing the necessity for organization and proper supervision if the greatest national benefits are to be achieved, one speaker at the national conference warned local leaders not to rush into such a program, and pointed out that it is "just as foolish for an untrained person to plant seed without knowing something about the value of the seed he is planting, the kind of soil on which it will grow, how to take care of. it after it comes up, and what use will' be made of it after it matures, as it would be for an untrained gunner to shoot without knowing what kind of gun he had, the kind and size of shot he was using, and the target at whicli he was aiming." Work Through Existing Agencies Leaders hope to provide skilled supervision and technical information through agencies already in existence county farm agents, agricultural extension workers, teachers in the agricultural and home economics departments of the schools and colleges, and garden club members. But aside from supervision, they point out that other important factors must be con- sidered in determining the advisability of home, A Baltimore Product B ROWN glazed electric insulators, seen on high-tension power lines strung out like a series of soup plates, pith helmets or salad bowls, are made of porcelain even finer than Limoges or other celebrated wares. More of these insulators are made in Balti-more than in any city in the country, and their principal binding ingredient ball clay is dug on the Thiladelphia road, just beyond the city limits. There is an interesting story behind this use of local clay, because for years the Locke Insulator Corporation of Baltimore, and the other American insulator manufacturers, imported such clay from Cornwall, England, unaware that it was obtainable at home. To discover this material Locke hired a staff of engineers to make a thorough investigation of clay deposits in the United States. These succeeded in finding other necessary ingredients for insulators: feldspar in Virginia; flint in New Jersey and Tennsylvania; china clay in South Carolina. But the engineers concluded that there was no ball clay in the country. Picks A Winner At Laurel " Then one of the searchers took the afternoon off to' attend the races at Laurel. Near the race track his eye spotted what looked like ball clay. He took a sample of it, and analysis proved that he was right. The next question was how to obtain it for insulator making; the race track could not be dug up. Weeks of search in and around Baltimore disclosed the large deposits ton the - Philadelphia road. That ' was about four years ago. Ever since Locke has been using one hundred tons a month. of ball clay from the Maryland deposit, the only one of consequence yet discovered in the United States. This clay constitutes thirty per cent, of the material going into insulators. The making of them involves kiln temperatures as high as 2,400 degrees and artificial lightning bolts of 3,000,000 volts. community and school gardens in any given locality. The four basic necessities of land, seed, equipment and labor must be given attention. Unless it is certain that good land, or land that can be made productive at small expense, is available, the venture had better be discarded. Funds must be available for purchase of high grade seed, and equipment suited to the available labor must be obtained. Most important of all, there must be assurance of regular and satisfactory labor to cultivate the land. If these factors can be met satisfactorily and the products of the garden can be used to advantage, there is a sound basis for launching a victory garden project. Work For War "Orphans" Possibility of an increasing need for school and community gardens as women are called upon to replace men in defense industry and agriculture is indicated by reports from welfare agencies in many cities showing an alarming increase in the number of children whose mothers are engaged in defense work during the day and unable to prepare family meals. As more and more men are called to the colors this problem may become acute and continued health of the youngsters may depend increasingly upon available school lunch and day nursery facilities. In such localities, school or community gardens would fill a vital need both in providing healthful foods for the children and a valuable outlet for their own patriotic desire to help win the war. Statistics show that 1,500,000 children and youths were enlisted in the United States school garden army of 1918, Wsidcs many thousands of teachers ard laymen. In a recent address John W. Studebaker, United States Commissioner xf Education, said: "The purposes which that program sought to accomplish were primarily the increased production of foodstuffs; secondarily, to give school . children valuable training in thrift, industry, personal responsibility, and " patriotic service. But I believe that it is the consensus of those who had a part in the program of the school garden army of 1918 that, everything considered, the training values ac By FRANK Steps leading to the kiln and the subsequent spectacular testing include mixing and molding. After the ingredients are mixed they appear as very soupy mud like that colloidal mud which forms the foundation of Baltimore's much-delayed airport. And, like that at the airport, if this mud were left exposed to the air it would form a crust with soup beneath that. To take care of that the insulator mud is poured into a plaster mold, which, being extremely porous, absorbs the moisture while setting the clay in the form desired. These forms are varied some of them are like huge wide-brimmed hats, perhaps two feet in diameter; others are shaped like soup or cereal dishes, and are even smaller than the ware they resemble. Fighting Dust, Dew And Fog There are as many shapes in insulators as there are in women's hats. These variations are born of the engineers' constant search for insulators that will function efficiently under varied climatic conditions, for fog, dust and dew must be reckoned with in insulation. For instance, if there is dust on an insulator and it is moistened by dew or fog, electricity is likely to "creep" along the glazed surface, cause transmission losses and possibly endanger life or property. The designer's problem is to obviate surfaces that would hold dust, to turn out an insulator from which moisture quickly drips. The pot or . bell-shaped insulator answers well. Mountain Lightning Insulating engineers have found that dew is particularly bothersome in India, as it is, in fact, in most tropical countries. Of -course, fog is a problem in "England. Engineers have found that there is more lightning in the northeastern portion of the United States than anywhere ilse in the country. Western Maryland and West Virginia reek with it. Insulators on the high- Jmntutry 1$. 1942 fi :J IH" S v.- f I : f London youngsters enjoying a stew made with dehydrated vegetables from the United States, which is supplying shiploads of food to its British allies cruing to the young people probably outweighed the economic values of the actual foodstuffs. ...Another important objective of the war garden program to which the schools can contributeindeed, the objective, which . I, personally feel is of greatest importance is teaching our people to improve their dietary habits." Fit Into Broad Program , Leaders in the victory garden program say that it must be considered as an important part of the nation's broad effort to conserve and in Defies The HENRY voltage feed wires, some carrying as much as 220,000 volts in these regions, are frequently nine feet long. This unusual length is to minimize the possibility of lightning "jumping" the insulator and causing a short circuit. The unusual number of electric storms in the Northeastern part of the country, according to the Weather Bureau, is due to the convergence there of storms from three directions West, Northwest and South. Because of this New England and the States nearby see about three times as much lightning as the western plains. Where Salt s A Problem "On the plains," says an engineer, "you can insulate with a milk bottle." The same goes for the Rocky Mountain area. But on the southern California coast, particularly in the region of Long Beach, insulators become coated with salt from the spray of the Tacific. Salt is a lively conductor and often current "creeps" through it over the longest insulators. Rain is welcomed by the insulation engineer in such localities because it washes off both dust and salt. Incidentally, pure water is no conductor of electricity current will pass through water readily only when it carries impurities. Four-Day Journey After the insulators have been shaped by the potters and allowed to complete drying in the open air, a purplish liquid glazing clay mud is squirted on them. Then they are sent to the kiln, where they are fired for four days. The mud turns to a hard brown coating of glass and the body of the insulator is fused in the 2,400-degree heat, which is not turned on suddenly, for fear of cracking it, but reached in sixty steps. These gradations in heat are achieved at fixed crease health and strength for the titanic task ahead. Gardens are the source of more than half the essential foods which Americans must include in their diet if the nation is to realize its fullest power in combat and production. Consequently, gardens are an important factor in tha national nutrition program which seeks to acquaint all Americans with 'the newer knowledge of nutrition and to make available, to them in the 'most economical manner possible, those essential foods upon ' which their health ' and welfare depend. . - ' . Lightning intervals in the kiln, which is 300 feet long. The heat resisting carborundum carriages carrying the insulators are propelled through it so slowly by hydraulic mechanism that the journey requires four days. The highest temperature is in the middle of the kiln and then the heat decreases by sixty more stages to Baltimore's owa temperature. , Novel Oven Thermometer ' The engineers have devised ingenious gadgets to make sure that the insulators have been through all degrees of heat. These are littl white clay fingers that become soft in various temperatures and they are placed on the carriage beside the insulators. If they are all curled downward at the end of the baking process that is a sign that the insulators are "well done." Then comes testing. Each unit is subjected t 60.000 volts. If the current sparkles over' it, it is sound.- But if the long blue streak passes through that means there, is a hole, perhaps microscopic, in the insulator and it is discarded. Insulator units for high-tension lines are tested in long strings. These are eleven to twelve feet long, and if they endure a 3,000,000 volt shot of artificial lightning, they are acceptable. Sometimes the lightning plays over them in thii test in brilliant blue flashes and the sound is lika a thunder clap. Roasting Does It . One of the questions often asked by laymen, 'the insulator makers say, is why insulators, madf of earth, are non-conductors, while the earti itself is one of the liveliest of conductors. En gineers answer that it is the mixture of watel and earth that passes electricity: and if yon separate them, neither will conduct The com plete dryness of insulators is what makes theni non-conductors. They are burnt so hard in th kiln that they are proof against absorption. 4

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