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Scrap Happy Daffy is a humorous Looney Tunes black and white cartoon featuring Daffy Duck, directed by Frank Tashlin and released in 1943 by Warner Bros. It was made during the Second World War to encourage Americans to donate scrap metal for the war effort. The short was the final appearance of Daffy Duck in black and white.
Daffy is the guard of a scrap yard, doing his part to help America win the war against the Germans, but the enemy decide to destroy his scrap pile by sending a billy goat out to eat everything in sight.
HISTORICAL BACKGROUND / CONTEXT
During World War 2, Enemy conquests cut off supplies of crucial raw materials. The shortage of rubber was the most serious impediment to the Allied war effort, but metals of all kinds were needed in huge quantities. Building tanks, ships, planes, and other weapons required massive amounts of metals, more than any other military conflict in history. An M4 Sherman tank required more than 20 tons of metal. A Navy battleship needed more than 900 tons. And building the world's largest air force meant that aluminum would be needed in unprecedented quantities. Thus the government after Pearl Harbor either cut off the supply of metal to the consumer economy or strictly rationed it. Everything from barbed wire to farm equipment was rationed.
Factories quickly shifted from manufacturing civilian goods to military material. The last automobile rolled off the assembly line on February 10, 1942, and cars wouldn’t be manufactured again until August 1945. On April 2, 1942, the government ordered a reduction in the use of metals in packaging of civilian products. Anyone who wanted to purchase a tin tube of toothpaste or shaving cream had to turn in the old tube first. On March 1, 1943, these restrictions resulted in the rationing of canned foods.
Expanding mine production took time. And increasing imports meant that ships had to be built which also took time. But there was metal that was immediately available. One estimate suggests that 1.5 million tons of scrap metal lay useless on U.S. farms. And there were also large quantities in the cities as well. The government urged Americans to turn in scrap metal for recycling, and schools and community groups like the Boy Scouts across the country held scrap metal drives. Scrap drives and tin can drives reclaimed tons of metals, but not enough to prevent shortages.
Drives were often great community events, with performers, and speeches. Even celebrities pitched in to help promote these events. Competitions were held to see which town, county, and state produced the most scrap, and the winners boasted of their feats. Citizens scoured their homes, farms, and businesses for metal. Housewives donated pots and pans, farmers turned in farm equipment, and children even gave up their metal toys. Many people removed bumpers and fenders from their cars and brought to the collection sites. Sometimes even historical statues were melted down.
These drives had mixed results. While not all scrap materials proved useful, many did and provided a small but significant source of material. Most importantly, these drives galvanized the Home Front and made each individual, even children, feel like a crucial part of the war effort.
Scrap Happy Daffy | World War 2 Era Propaganda Cartoon | 1943
NOTE: THE VIDEO REPRESENTS HISTORY. SINCE IT WAS PRODUCED DECADES AGO, IT HAS HISTORICAL VALUES AND CAN BE CONSIDERED AS A VALUABLE HISTORICAL DOCUMENT. THE VIDEO HAS BEEN UPLOADED WITH EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES. ITS TOPIC IS REPRESENTED WITHIN HISTORICAL CONTEXT. THE VIDEO DOES NOT CONTAIN SENSITIVE SCENES AT ALL!