Rising to the Challenge: M. A. C. and Food Rationing During World War I

12 03 2018

Potato Crop Photo

There seems to be nothing more patriotic than sacrifice, especially when your country needs you. The sacrifice that most people think of are the lives of the servicemen and women who choose to fight for their country, but what about the sacrifices made at home? How do the people who stay home contribute to the war effort? By rationing food, particularly wheat and sugar. Food rationing is a common enough practice during war, and Michigan Agricultural College was no different during World War I.

“War bread” was the name for the replacement of wheat bread. In an effort to spread the idea of rationing, the M.A.C. women “placed in the corridor of the library building a table on which folders, circulars and literature on food conservation subjects, including recipes for war bread” were made available to the general public. Wheat was supplemented with other ingredients such as “barley, corn flour, cornmeal, bran flour, oat flour, rolled oats, boiled rice, rice flour, buckwheat” and even potatoes. While we are not at war ourselves, there is a familiarity in the dietary habits of the war restricted people of the past and our diet obsessed modern day culture. Some of these ingredients are still in use for gluten-free products.

Flour Ration Poster

 

The home economics course also stressed the need to cut back on wheat flour in their August 1918 edition of the extension course notes. In the introduction of the section titled “Breads for War Time,” it is stated that “…Allied countries have agreed that their wheat bread shall contain 20 per cent [sic] of other grains than wheat….no patriotic American housewife will use less than that amount until the necessity of helping our allies and those others dependent on us for food is passed.” It is made perfectly clear that this was not a request or a guideline. Not only is the standard clearly set on how much wheat was to be used, but a disregard for said standard would call into question the loyalty of the woman who dared to bake bread with more than 20% wheat flour.

Sugar had similar standards to bread, although some of the substitution options would have been more palatable than the bread options. Once again, it is the home economics course notes was the source providing alternative options when rationing sugar in cooking. Foods such as cereal, cakes and desserts were the main focuses in decreasing sugar, and many of the suggestions for substitution would have been dried fruits, corn syrup, or leaving out sugar altogether if possible: “Eat fruits for the fruit flavor–they contain their own sugar….Use plain cakes….Use corn syrup, cane syrup…apple or other fruit syrups, molasses, honey, jelly or jam made from syrup, in place of sugar.” There are also several alternative recipes listed to help students cope with the new war time diet they were facing. One such recipe was for apple pie. The ingredients listed were “2 C sliced apples/ ½ C corn syrup/ 1 T corn starch [sic]/ ½ t cinnamon,” and the directions were as minimal as the ingredients used: “Arrange apples in tin lined with plain pastry.  Combine corn syrup, corn starch and cinnamon and pour over the apples.” The replacement ingredient for sugar would have been the corn syrup, which would have allowed for meals to continue on with as few changes as possible.

Even traditional social events were subject to substituting their food. Every year, there was a barbecue held in front of Wells Hall. However, there had recently been a campus wide event to raise money for Liberty Bonds, so “ after…feeling a wee bit poverty stricken…the class of 1920 decided that it would be more in keeping with the wishes of Mr. Hoover to have a barbecue without the roast ox. As a substitute…was that stable luncheon delicacy, the Club C doughnut.” It was noted that the change in protein choice “was purely a wartime function,” so this wouldn’t be a new tradition, but rather, a show of support for the country and soldiers at war.

It was apparent that everyone was doing their part to ration what they could on campus, from student events to the departments to the students themselves. While it is apparent that most of the substitutes were meant to keep life going as similarly to before the war as possible, the differences are still there. Therefore, the resolve to help with the war from student and faculty alike is impressive, and the act of sacrificing such staples from a diet such as wheat, sugar and meat shows a commitment that is to be admired.

By Catharine Neely

“M. A. C. Women Push Food Campaign.” MAC Record, 9 Nov. 1917, vol. 23, no. 8.

“Breads for War Time,” Cooperative Extension Course Notes in Serial 00035, folder 35.

“How Can I Use Less Sugar?” Cooperative Extension Course Notes in Serial 00035, folder 35.

“How Can I Use Less Sugar?” Cooperative Extension Course Notes in Serial 00035, folder 35.

“Meatless Barbecue Big Success.” MAC Record, 9 Nov. 1917, vol. 23, no. 8.

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Collections Spotlight: Nepal Institute of Agriculture and Animal Science Project

9 03 2018

Did you know MSU participated in an international program in Nepal?  Archivists recently added materials into the Nepal Institute of Agriculture and Animal Science Project records, and now the collection is complete.

A006560

The Dean of the Institute of Agriculture and Animal Science (IAAS) in Nepal and the Director of the Midwest University Consortium for International Activities (MUCIA) project look at a globe, 1978 (A006560)

During the Nepal project, MSU collaborated with the U.S. Agency for International Development and the Midwest University Consortium for International Activities (MUCIA) to assist Tribhuvan University in the development of the Institute of Agriculture and Animal Science (IAAS) in Rampur, Nepal.  Nepal needed IAAS to train people for Nepal’s agricultural sector.  MSU contributed to the project from 1975 to September 1984.  Faculty from MSU and other institutions traveled to Nepal provide technical assistance, assist with curriculum and program development, help with research and setting up research facilities, and to advise on administration of the institute.  In addition, students from Nepal came to the United States for education and then took their expertise back to Nepal.

pictures and program booklet

Cover of the “Pictures and Programme” booklet, Tribhuvan University, June 29, 1982

The eight boxes of Nepal project records in the University Archives contain progress, end of tour and final project reports, administration and financial records, inventories, and information about MSU and local employees.  There is also information about the agricultural research projects undertaken during the project.  The majority of the records are in English.

Soybean report

Cover of the Soybean Research Report

This collection is one of many related to MSU’s involvement in international projects.  Others include the Vietnam Project (http://archives.msu.edu/findaid/ua2-9-5-5.html), University of the Ryukyus in Japan (http://archives.msu.edu/findaid/ua2-9-5-16.html), University of Nigeria (http://archives.msu.edu/findaid/ua2-9-5-4.html), Pakistan Academies (http://archives.msu.edu/findaid/ua2-9-5-12.html), and the Brazil Project (http://archives.msu.edu/findaid/ua2-9-5-11.html).

Written by Sarah Roberts, acquisitions archivist

Sources:

Nepal Institute of Agriculture and Animal Science Project records (http://archives.msu.edu/findaid/ua2-9-5-25.html)

Horn, Nancy E., A Project History of Michigan State University’s Participation in International Development 1951-1985, College of Education Records (UA 15.7), June 1985, pages 162-163





Road Construction to Affect the Archives

2 03 2018

Beginning March 5 and ending around November 15, 2018, the MSU Archives will be affected by road construction that will take place on Wilson and Fee Road. The plan is for the roads and the parking lots to switch places, so the parking lots are closer to the buildings. That way, people will not have to cross the busy streets to get to the campus buildings. This construction will greatly affect the Archives and Fee Hall, since Wilson and Fee Roads will be closed. The Archives has been assured that there will be parking spots available, but getting to those spots might be difficult in the upcoming weeks.

If you are planning on visiting the Archives anytime this year, it would be best to look at the MSU Infrastructure Planning and Facilities Construction website, construction.msu.edu, for the most up-to-date information and detour maps before arriving. If you need further clarification, you can contact the Archives at 517-355-2330 or archives@msu.edu and we will do our best to direct you to the nearest available parking.

To learn more about the Wilson Road Extension Project, visit http://ipf.msu.edu/construction/projects/wilson-extension.html and check out the flyer that details the different phases of the project, http://ipf.msu.edu/_files/pdfs/wilson-road-flyer-021318.pdf.

We are sorry for the inconvenience this will cause.

A001432

Men surround a tractor to begin construction. On the back: “excavation, research greenhouses on Farm Lane c. 1949.” (A001432)





In Memoriam: M. Cecil Mackey (1929-2018)

14 02 2018

MSU President Emeritus M. Cecil Mackey passed away on February 8, 2018 at the age of 89.  Mackey served as president of MSU from 1979 to 1985.

A005734

MSU President Cecil Mackey holding a Spartan S flag in September 1979.  Photo source: UA 8.1.1, Box 2712, Folder 6 (A005734)

Maurice Cecil Mackey was born January 23, 1929 in Montgomery, Alabama.  In 1949, he received his B.A. in economics from the University of Alabama and went on to receive an M.A. in economics in 1953.  In that same year, he married Clare Siewert.  In 1955, he received his Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of Illinois, where he focused on economic theory, the history of economic thought, and the relationship of government to business and finance.

In 1956, Mackey was on active duty at the U.S. Air Force Academy in Denver. He served as an associate professor of economics and worked on the economics curriculum.  In 1957, he was a lecturer of business law at the University of Alabama.  A year later, he received his bachelor of laws degree from the University of Alabama.  In 1958, Mackey was admitted to the State Bar of Alabama and began studying law at the graduate level at Harvard University.  From 1959 to 1962, he was an assistant law professor at University of Alabama.

In 1962, Mackey became Assistant Counsel for the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Antitrust and Monopoly.  In 1963, he became the director of the Office of Policy and Development for the Federal Aviation Agency.  There he was in charge of long-range planning and economic research.  In 1965, he became the director of the Office of Transportation Policy for the U.S. Department of Commerce and developed programs and policies for transportation systems.

Mackey became Assistant Secretary for Policy and Development for the Department of Transportation in 1967.  He planned policies, programs as well as worked on regulation.  In 1969, Mackey was a visiting professor at the University of Maryland College of Business and Public Administration.  He then went on to become a Professor of Law at Florida State University from 1969 to 1971.  From 1971 to 1976, he served as the President of the University of South Florida.  In 1976, he became President of Texas Tech University as well as a Professor of Law.

A005730

President Cecil Mackey sitting at the boardroom table in the Hannah Administration Building. Photo source: UA 8.1.1, Box 2712, Folder 8.

On August 3, 1979, Mackey was inaugurated as President of Michigan State University.  He served as President until 1985.  After serving as president, Mackey continued to teach economics at MSU.

Rest in Peace President Mackey.

Information about memorial services and giving can be found on the MSU Today website: http://msutoday.msu.edu/news/2018/maurice-cecil-mackey-jr-msus-16th-president-dies/

 





Announcement from the Michigan Archival Association: 2018 Marilyn McNitt Memorial Scholarship

5 02 2018

The Marilyn McNitt Memorial Scholarship funds a student to attend the 2018 Michigan Archival Association Annual Meeting to be held in Bay City, Michigan, June 14-15, 2018. The scholarship covers lodging for two nights and conference registration. The recipient will also receive a $250 stipend for travel costs and a one-year membership to MAA. In addition, the scholarship winner will be invited to write an article for the MAA newsletter, Open Entry, about the conference experience.

The scholarship is open to graduate students in an archival science program or related field. To apply, please submit a completed application form (MS Word .docx format) and application statement to Brian Wilson at brianw@thehenryford.orgThe deadline for applications is April 1, 2018.

Marilyn McNitt was an archivist at the University of Michigan’s Bentley Historical Library for twenty-five years. Her commitment to researchers and students was an inspiration to fellow MAA members. The scholarship honors her years of dedication and service to MAA.





A M. A. C. Legacy, Part 1: Emory Crocker

22 01 2018

America entered into World War I on April 6, 1917 and put out the call for young men to join in the fight. Michigan Agricultural College, later to be known as Michigan State University, answered this call with its own students. Of those many, three in particular stand out: the Crocker siblings. Thanks to a collection housed in the MSU Archives building and the correspondence between these three, Mary, Emory, and Martin, we are given a unique look into the life of M.A.C. students: those who stayed and those who went “over there.”

Emory Crocker

Yearbook Photo of Emory Crocker from The Wolverine, 1917

Emory Crocker, Class of 1917, was a forestry student. Before he began his war service with the National Guard, his career at M. A. C., according to his letters to Mary, was predictable. He wrote of playing football, going on hikes with friends, and asking if Mary could “get me a girl for the Forester’s Party?…Tell her I am not the best dancer in the world but will try and not make life too miserable.” During his participation in the forestry program, he spent one summer studying “the mammoth maple, gray and rock elm, birch and black ash trees” with other young men who at the time were simply students taking classes and learning their future profession. Among this group were others who would join Emory in the war: Sueldon B. Lee, H. N. Putnam, J. E. Foess, Roger W. Billings, Harold A. Clementsen, B. M. McClure, and Cosmer Magnus Leveaux, all with the Class of 1917. Leveaux and Emory were soldiers with Battery A, 119th Field Division, and Leveaux would lose his life on August 10, 1918, fighting “north of Chateau Thiery [sic].”[3]

The letters from Emory to his family start on October 8, 1917 when he was stationed in Waco, Texas. He mostly tells his family of camp goings-on, the people he met, and contagion scares and quarantines. On December 29, 1917, he wrote to tell his parents what Christmas in the military looked like:

“I got more this year for Xmas than I ever got before… I have got all kinds of knitted socks, toilet soap, tooth paste [sic] [,] wristletts [sic], trench caps, candy, tobacco, talcum pow[d]er, handkerchiefs and other things too numerous to mention. The box I got from the Lansing Red Cross was the best. There was even a gem safety razer [sic] in it. I will need every thing [sic] when we get in France I guess.”

Emory’s Christmas in the armed forces included packages from different Red Cross organizations and women who made knitted things to contribute to the war effort outside of his hometown, but he also received gifts from his family, such as “two packages…and a box of cake.” While this time was enjoyable, it was temporary, and a later line in his letter hints to the grueling hours of work: “I simply haven’t had time for nearly two weeks to do much writting [sic]. A man has mighty little time to himself in the army.”

Emory also talks mentions different attitudes that he and other soldiers had during their training: “I hear that every body [sic] that can is flocking to the Quarter Master [sic] Corps and the Ordinance [sic] Corps up North. I don’t blame them.  It is only natural that the majority would try to get in the safest place they could.” Besides the normal fears of the battlefield, Emory also had to face the technological advances that this war presented. The military began using vehicles, and this was daunting and unfamiliar: “Where I am out of luck in this war is that I know nothing at all about motors…. They have taken our horses and are going to replace them by motor trucks and motorcycles and automobiles. I am out of date in this war.” And of course, soldiers understood the military’s censorship rules.  “Don’t publish or talk to any one [sic] about what I write,”

Censorship approval Emory Crocker

Censor Signature of Approval, From Mary Crocker Collection, Box FD, Folder 4

Emory wrote to his mother. “There are strict orders out forbidding soldiers writting [sic] to news papers [sic] without just having the letters censored…. If any uncensored letters are published some one [sic] is going to get it. Of course that will be the soldier.”  While he understood what was at stake, he needed to make the rest of his family aware for his sake. Overall, Emory’s letters show how much war would change and shake up the life of a soldier as well as his family.

In addition to having to train and carry the responsibilities of a soldier at war, he also had to fight a battle with a less visible opponent: disease. Even though influenza is the best recognized illness during this era, other diseases plagued soldiers. In his first letter from Waco, dated October 8, 1917, Emory revealed that his camp was “quarantined with diphtheria” and that “there are a couple of cases now.” A few days later, he writes again, including a sarcastic comment to the perceived overreaction: “Well, we are quarantined to our Battery street. They say we have diphtheria. That is a couple of the men have sore throats so it must be diphtheria you see.” It only took a couple of days for his irritation to set in. He would be released only to be hospitalized again two months later with pneumonia. However, he was more worried about being left behind than succumbing to illness: “It was only a little touch….I only hope the battery doesn’t leave before I get out.” He was going to make sure that when his unit left, he would be with them. About a month later, his unit was scheduled to leave for Camp Merritt, New Jersey. Shortly before they left, he was still in the hospital, but “I argued with them so much that they let me out.”

It wasn’t all bad, however. Emory did also talk about running into people from M. A. C. fairly regularly, and how excited both parties were to see each other:

“I got a surprise the other night. Some one [sic] called me and I stepped outside of the tent and met Bill Anderson,… who graduated with ‘17.  He was shipped down with a bunch from Custer. He certainly was a tickeled [sic] fellow to see some one [sic] he knew….He didn’t know whether he would see anything of us down here and he was sore as the dickens because he didn’t say he wanted to be in the artillery when he first came. I never saw a fellow who was so tickled to see some one [sic] he knew as Bill was…. I took him over to Lt. Donelley and Donelley who knew Bill well in school is going to get him transfered [sic]. Bill Told me all the M.A.C. news from Custer. Harry Stewart is also down here in the 126th. He was another tickled kid to see someone he knew.”

Emory’s letters from France provide possibly the richest and most revealing chronicles of the entire collection of his writings. He started to share more with his family about what he did as a soldier. His new experiences were more richly detailed, starting with his training: “We get a lot of drill with gas masks. They say there isn’t any excuse of a man being gassed if he does as told.” Gas warfare was new in the Great War, and soldiers prepared for encountering clouds of different types of gases.

Gas Mask Museum

Gas mask used by soldiers during WWI with carrying bag, from the Michigan State University Museum Cultural Collections)

What Emory would be most recognized for was his work as a gunner: “I never worked on a gun squad until we came here except now and then an occassional [sic] drill. I was never very close to one when they were firing. The first few times out the firing gave me an awful headache but it doesn’t effect [sic] me at all now.” His work as a gunner became a point of pride as his Battery was the first from Lansing to fire on the Germans. In a newspaper article saved by Mary in her scrapbook, Emory is listed as the gunner, and the shells from the first two shots were “sent back home by Major Amos Ashley” and were “on exhibit in the window of Hurd’s Men’s Shop on south Washington avenue near Washtenaw street.”

Emory on cannon enhanced

Emory Crocker (left) on a gun with another soldier (unknown), from the Mary Crocker Collection, Scrapbook

At this point, Emory’s written trepidation of fighting was gone and replaced with bravado. Emory tells Mary that “I am a gunner and believe me I am going to have the sights of that gun right where they ought to be. I am going to make it a personal grudge.” He also wrote his parents about getting ready to go to the front, saying, “I hope our next shots will be fired towards the Dutchmen.” He would get his wish on June 12, 1918:

“We came to the front several days ago and have seen some hot stuff on two or three occassions [sic]. Yesterday morning the Hun gave it to us for about three hours in good style and then kept up a harassing fire throughout the day. No one in the battery was hurt. The Hun isn’t the only one who has been doing the firing. Up to yesterday morning we have bothered him continually; firing about three times as many shells as he did. Yesterday morning our infantry broke up a nice little party the Hun was figuring on and he got sore and gave it to us….I enjoy the honor of being with one of the two guns that were the first of our regiment to fire at the German. They tell us those first rounds done business too.”

Letter Emory Crocker

Letter From Emory Crocker to Mary, From Mary Crocker Collection, Box FD, Folder 4

Emory’s retelling of his first battle at the front reads as an exciting tale and, for him in that first battle, it was. There were no casualties, and he got to shoot at the enemy just like what he “thought we would be doing…when I enlisted.” However, it is important to pause and consider what these letters would have meant to those at home who had never experienced the kind of technology this war had introduced. If Emory was experiencing new and overwhelming technologies first hand, these revelations read by friends and family through letters must have seemed particularly alien—and frightening—in  nature.

Emory’s letters to his family offers a unique and personal look at what American, and specifically M. A. C., soldiers experienced in France and how they communicated that to their families back home. With varying levels of fear and boldness intermingled with touching, personal moments, Emory describes his experiences in Waco, New Jersey, and France in a way that is deeply appreciated by the people wishing to understand more about this crucial moment in history.

Bibliography:

Emory Crocker to Mary Crocker, 8 January 1916, Box FD, Folder 1, Boutell  Mary Crocker Papers, collection UA 10.3.104, Michigan State University Archives and Historical Collections, East Lansing, Michigan.

Mary Crocker Scrapbook, n. d., Scrapbook #244, Boutell Mary Crocker, collection UA 10.3.104, Michigan State University Archives and Historical Collections, East Lansing, Michigan.

“Cosmer Leveaux With ‘18,” From The M.A.C. Record, 30 September 1918,  M.A.C. Record digital collection, Michigan State University Archives and Historical Collections, East Lansing, Michigan.

Emory Crocker to Mary Crocker, 29 December 1917, Box FD, Folder 2, Boutell  Mary Crocker Papers, collection UA 10.3.104, Michigan State University Archives and Historical Collections, East Lansing, Michigan.

Emory Crocker to Mary Crocker, 13 January 1918, Box FD, Folder 2, Boutell  Mary Crocker Papers, collection UA 10.3.104, Michigan State University Archives and Historical Collections, East Lansing, Michigan.

Emory Crocker to Mary Crocker, 8 October 1917, Box FD, Folder 2, Boutell  Mary Crocker Papers, collection UA 10.3.104, Michigan State University Archives and Historical Collections, East Lansing, Michigan.

Emory Crocker to Mary Crocker, 13 October 1917, Box FD, Folder 2, Boutell  Mary Crocker Papers, collection UA 10.3.104, Michigan State University Archives and Historical Collections, East Lansing, Michigan.

Emory Crocker to Mary Crocker, 28 January 1918, Box FD, Folder 2, Boutell  Mary Crocker Papers, collection UA 10.3.104, Michigan State University Archives and Historical Collections, East Lansing, Michigan.

Emory Crocker to Mary Crocker, 14 February 1918, Box FD, Folder 3, Boutell  Mary Crocker Papers, collection UA 10.3.104, Michigan State University Archives and Historical Collections, East Lansing, Michigan.

Emory Crocker to Mary Crocker, 19 May 1918, Box FD, Folder 4, Boutell  Mary Crocker Papers, collection UA 10.3.104, Michigan State University Archives and Historical Collections, East Lansing, Michigan.

Emory Crocker to Mary Crocker, 23 May 1918, Box FD, Folder 4, Boutell  Mary Crocker Papers, collection UA 10.3.104, Michigan State University Archives and Historical Collections, East Lansing, Michigan.

Emory Crocker to Mary Crocker, 20 June 1918, Box FD, Folder 4, Boutell  Mary Crocker Papers, collection UA 10.3.104, Michigan State University Archives and Historical Collections, East Lansing, Michigan.

Emory Crocker to Mary Crocker, 27 May 1918, Box FD, Folder 4, Boutell  Mary Crocker Papers, collection UA 10.3.104, Michigan State University Archives and Historical Collections, East Lansing, Michigan.

Written by Catharine Neely, intern for MSU Archives & MSU Museum





Upcoming SAA Workshops hosted by MSU Archives

22 01 2018

The Michigan State University Archives & Historical Collections is hosting four Society of American Archivists Workshops this spring.  The classes we will be offering are:

Implementing “More Product, Less Process” [A&D] – March 5, 2018

Arranging and Describing Photographs [A&D] – April 30, 2018

Arrangement and Description of Audiovisual Materials [A&D] – May 1, 2018

Tool Integration: From Pre-SIP to DIP [DAS] – June 1, 2018

All of the workshops are from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, and will be held in the MSU Administration Building (426 Auditorium Rd) on the fourth floor, Room 443.  Parking is available nearby in visitor/commuter lots at Spartan Stadium.  Campus maps, with details of parking lot options, are available online.

Snacks and beverages will be provided in the morning and afternoon.  Lunch will be on your own.  There are many dining options available near the MSU Administration Building.

Lodging is available at the Kellogg Hotel and Conference Center, https://kelloggcenter.com/, located on campus, or there are other local hotels.

To learn more about the classes or to register, please follow the links provided below.

Implementing “More Product, Less Process” [A&D] – March 5, 2018

https://saa.archivists.org/events/implementing-more-product-less-process-1888/860/

Arranging and Describing Photographs [A&D] – April 30, 2018

https://saa.archivists.org/events/arranging-and-describing-photographs-1890/871/

 Arrangement and Description of Audiovisual Materials [A&D] – May 1, 2018

https://saa.archivists.org/events/arrangement-and-description-of-audiovisual-materials-1889/870/

Tool Integration: From Pre-SIP to DIP [DAS] – June 1, 2018

https://saa.archivists.org/events/tool-integration-from-pre-sip-to-dip-18a2/875/

If you have questions or concerns, please contact the MSU Archives: http://archives.msu.edu/about/contact.php?about_contact.