University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
The State of Wisconsin Collection

Page View

Shattuck, S. F., et. al (ed.) / A history of Neenah

The 1940's,   pp. 123-[142] PDF (4.5 MB)

Page 124

Dawn of the atomic age
  A great second World War, the dawn of the atomic age, and the
beginnings of post-war expansion in industry, business and residential
building marked the decade of the Forties.
   Civilian defense organizations came into existence during the
 1940's, but did not gain full acceleration until after Pearl Harbor.
 The first peacetime draft in the history of America affected Neenah
 residents and their families, as the Winnebago County Selective
 Service Board No. 3, with offices in the Menasha Post Office, came
 into existence in 1940. The first registration of men between the ages
 of 21 and 35 was held October i6, 1940. There were 3,907 men
 registered at that time, representing Neenah, Menasha and seven
 area townships which made up the No. 3 Board. The following sum-
 mer the second registration was held, and in February of 1942 the
 third, which also included men between 36 and 45. Service on this
 board was never a pleasant duty. Members, and particularly Arthur
 Ritger, as Chairman, never received the appreciation they deserved
 for their self-sacrificing devotion to their task.
  Ration boards came into existence as gasoline, tires, sugar, fuel oil,
cars, stoves, shoes, bicycles, rubber boots, meat and canned goods
began to be part of the great national conservation program for the
emergency. Every family had ration books. The rationing was a big
task, and the men who directed the early formation of a board to
handle this work included Elmer Radtke, Harry Korotev, Carl
Gerhardt, Fred Wright, Charles Sommers, C. F. Hedges, E. E. Jan-
drey, William Clifford and J. C. Fritzen. As the program broadened,
hundreds more citizens volunteered for the work. The first offices were
in the Boys' Brigade building, then moved into larger quarters in the
Weinke building on East Wisconsin Avenue. The school teachers and
hundreds of housewives voluntarily gave their services during heavy
registrations or at times when they were needed as additional food
allotments were issued. Tires were rationed before the end of 1941,

Go up to Top of Page