David Shearer lived in the town of New Brighton, PA throughout the war. Born in 1937, David particularly details his experience collecting scrap metal and scrap newspapers, while also detailing his mother’s role in running scrap drives in their neighborhood.


Can Collecting with Mom

We had a very friendly neighborhood like most people did in those days. We would, I presume, the newspaper would say “we were having a can collection or we’re having a paper collection,” and [my mother] would take charge of that in our neighborhood. I had an American Flyer wagon.  I guess it would be called a little red wagon, and we would go around and collect whatever we were supposed to collect:  bags of cans — they were metal cans, they were steel cans in those days.  We didn’t have aluminum.  Some other times we’d go around with, I guess, gallon paint cans or something of that order and collect kitchen grease from cooking bacon and things. Everybody saved that, and you pour it in. And newspapers, of course, were stacked.  I’m not exactly sure what they did with newspapers but I think they made explosives out of the grease. And I guess they made bombs out of the cans.