The Home Front
Civilians living in and around Winnetka during World War II were dedicated to winning the war and supporting the soldiers overseas. The Home Front provided the production, austerity, and volunteer organization required to keep Americans on the battle front moving forward
From bulldozers to bombs, Illinois exceeded all other states in building new factories and converting peacetime manufacturing to war goods production. Machines for war and food for soldiers would not have been possible without the tremendous effort of civilians. They recycled materials critical to the war effort such as steel and tin, reduced consumption of “luxury” commodities like sugar and gasoline, and produced their own food in backyard “Victory Gardens.
In addition, with many men serving in the military, women were recruited for traditionally male jobs such as assembly line workers and gas station attendants. Local organizations of citizens coordinated civil defense activities, and a series of drives to sell billions of dollars in war bonds. The Red Cross enlisted volunteers of all ages to roll bandages, donate blood, and help in hospitals.
Not seen before or since World War II, the Home Front was a massive mobilization of American creativity, energy, and resources.