The Scotts: 1941–1945

During World War II, Mary Scott—who worked as a custodian at a local school—shared the first floor apartment in this house with her daughter Annie, son-in-law Richard Lynch, and grandson Richard. Mary’s sons, Roy and Arthur, served in the armed forces. Annie and Richard worked at the local munitions plant. And Mary did her part for the war effort by keeping a frugal household. The kitchen was Mary Scott’s command center.

Look Around!

How did Mary Scott support the war effort? This room is full of clues.

During World War II, the government promoted gardening and canning as a patriotic duty. Mary kept a “Victory Garden” and preserved vegetables from her garden by canning them in glass jars—helping to save the nation’s farm products for the armed forces. She saved meat drippings and bacon fat for use in explosives and metal foil scraps to be recycled into war material. And she followed the government’s food rationing plan that apportioned sugar, fresh meat, butter, cheese, coffee, and canned goods—developing strategies for cooking with limited ingredients. Mary’s young grandson did his part, too, working alongside her in her kitchen and garden.

Continue your tour at the three-sided case to your left.

Women in Home Front Work

Women in Home Front Work

Mary Scott’s daughter, Annie, was one of thousands of American women who worked in war production. She worked at a factory that made proximity fuses, which allowed projectiles to explode when they came within a certain distance of their targets.

Proximity fuse, about 1945

U.S. Navy rating badges worn by Roy Lynch, showing that he was a Boatswains Mate 3rd Class, 1940s

Citizen Soldiers

Mary Scott’s son Roy, who joined the navy in October 1942, was just one of the 16 million Americans who served in the armed forces during World War II. He was assigned to a landing ship and saw action in a half-dozen battles in the Pacific, including Okinawa and Iwo Jima. Much to his mother’s relief, Roy returned home to 16 Elm Street at the end of the war in 1945.

The last stop on your tour is the panel on the wall to the left as you exit the gallery.