publications

Canning the Way to Victory

During American participation in World War I the U.S. Food Administration, under the direction of Herbert Hoover, launched a massive campaign to persuade Americans to economize on food and to grow gardens in their backyards. Housewives were urged to “can Vegetables Fruit & the Kaiser too” and to “Back Up the Cannon by Use of the Canner.” When sugar became in short supply, Food Administration officials recommended new methods of home canning and food preservation, relying on the resourcefulness of the American housewife to put into practice their new slogan: “Maximum canning with minimum sugar.”

The Lincoln Daily Star on July 17, 1918, said: “Despite the severe sugar shortage and the limited supplies for canning and preserving purposes, housewives are urged to ‘put up’ enough fruits and vegetables to carry them through the winter. Two great advantages will come from such practices-food stores will be assured and transportation will be greatly relieved so that fundamental foods and other necessities can be transported.

“The sugar shortage has brought out the resourcefulness of the American housewife and today there are six different methods of preserving fruits without the use of sugar. Drying fruits of course is the most popular and the simplest. It has the double advantage of saving both sugar and cans. Bottling of fruit juices and fruit syrups are also much in favor, while fruit butters and canned fruits are growing in popularity. But perhaps the most unique of all is the pulping of fruits, by which the fruits are reduced to a pulp and bottled or canned for winter pies, sauces, and marmalades.”

The Commoner (Lincoln) on August 1, 1918, described the resourceful housewife as “bending all efforts to learn the best ways of using less sugar in her cooking and preserving and of canning without it; or with sugar substitutes. She is drying many of the fruits; she is learning to put up fruits and juices and butters and to make sirups [sic] at home from sugar beets, quinces and apples. She is substituting corn sirup for molasses, maple sirup, and honey for sugar in her canning and general cooking, and she is making sugarless candies, fruit pastes and confections.”

Americans’ obsessive love of sugar was also criticized by Food Administration officials, who urged housewives to cut down on even the small amount of sugar used to sweeten tea and coffee by enforcing the rule of “one teaspoonful to the cupful or none at all.”

Housewives were urged to “can Vegetables Fruit & the Kaiser too” in this 1919 publication by the National War Garden Commission.

(October 2011)

Become a Member!

Our members make history happen.

Join Now

Other Publications

The Bachelors’ Protective Union of Kearney

When the Bachelors' Protective Union gave a gala reception for two of its newly married, former members and their brides in March of 1890, the social club for young, ...

U.S. Weather Bureau in 1890s Nebraska

The U.S. Weather Bureau was established by an act of Congress on October 1, 1890. It took over the weather service that had been established in the office of the Chief ...

Canning the Way to Victory

During American participation in World War I the U.S. Food Administration, under the direction of Herbert Hoover, launched a massive campaign to persuade Americans to ...

The Shoemaker’s Ashes

"Edward Kuehl, one of the most peculiar characters that ever lived in Omaha, or anywhere else, was found dead in his bed last night in the back room of his place of ...

Crazy Horse Surrender Ledger Foreward

Red Dog, an Oglala Lakota who lived at the Red Cloud Agency, Nebraska, 1876-77 (Nebraska State Historical Society RG2955.ph).   In the summer of 1876, following the ...

Darryl F. Zanuck

Darryl F. Zanuck Darryl F. Zanuck (1902-1979), a native Nebraskan, produced some of Hollywood's most important and controversial films. He helped found 20th Century Fox ...

The Burlington’s Profitable Pork Special

Nebraska railroads were much concerned with developing an adequate economy in the areas they served. The Burlington, for example, had a long history of caring for the ...

Bungalow Filling Stations

After the giant Standard Oil Company was broken into thirty-four separate companies in 1911, the newly independent Standard Oil of Nebraska dominated the state's market ...

The Bull Fight

This is the perfect time of year for a visit to the old fishin' hole. But a group of fisherfolk from Plainview discovered that this bucolic pastime sometimes has ...

Buffalo Soldiers West

African-American soldiers on the western frontier are the focus of an exhibit at the Nebraska History Museum in Lincoln. Buffalo Soldiers West, on loan from the Colorado ...

Protection for Buffalo

The extermination of the buffalo on the Plains occurred largely between 1870 and 1885. The Nebraska State Journal of Lincoln on February 1, 1874, editorialized in vain ...

Buffalo Hunting

In late October 1877 young Rolf Johnson and three friends left their homes in Phelps County, Nebraska, for a buffalo hunt in northeastern Colorado. The hunt was not very ...
About History Nebraska
History Nebraska was founded in 1878 as the Nebraska State Historical Society by citizens who recognized Nebraska was going through great changes and they sought to record the stories of both indigenous and immigrant peoples. It was designated a state institution and began receiving funds from the legislature in 1883. Legislation in 1994 changed History Nebraska from a state institution to a state agency. The division is headed by Interim Director and CEO Jill Dolberg. They are assisted by an administrative staff responsible for financial and personnel functions, museum store services, security, and facilities maintenance for History Nebraska.
Explore Nebraska
Discover the real places and people of our past at these History Nebraska sites.

Upcoming Events

View our new and upcoming events to see how you can get involved.

Become a Member

The work we do to discover, preserve, and share Nebraska's history wouldn't be possible without the support of History Nebraska members.

Latest Hall of Fame Inductee

The Nebraska Hall of Fame was established in 1961 to officially recognize prominent Nebraskans.

Listen to our Podcast

Listen to the articles and authors published in the Nebraska History Magazine with our new Nebraska History Podcast.

Nebraska Collections

History Nebraska's mission is to collect, preserve, and open our shared history to all Nebraskans.

Our YouTube Video Collection

Get a closer look at Nebraska's history through your own eyes, with our extensive video collections.

Additional Research Resources

History Nebraska Research and Reference Services help connect you to the material we collect and preserve.

Support History Nebraska
Make a cash donation to help us acquire, preserve, and interpret Nebraska’s history. Gifts to History Nebraska help leave a legacy and may help your taxes, too! Support the work of History Nebraska by donating to the History Nebraska Foundation today.

Volunteers are the heroes of History Nebraska. So much history, so little time! Your work helps us share access to Nebraska’s stories at our museums and sites, the reference room, and online.