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Catalog and Seed Sales title

Will catalog 1942 front cover
Will catalog 1942 front cover SHSND# 10190
During World War II, Will’s catalog essays appeared irregularly, but in 1942, the back cover featured the Home Garden Collection with a new, contemporary name: Will’s Defense Garden Collection. The Victory Garden program of WWII had not yet begun, so it wasn’t until 1943 that the same collection of garden seeds was featured with the name Victory Garden Collection. This was designed for a garden 25 x 80 feet (a modest 2000 sq ft). It included sixteen vegetables (no potatoes) and cost $1.35 post paid.

In 1945, George Will’s spirit seemed broken. His essay was gloomy as it focused on world affairs. Though he appreciated many of the technical improvements and the forging of international alliances, he wrote, “Physically, however, the world is the same old place and the scattered human animals which continue to infest it can survive only by consuming the crops which by nature’s bounty they are permitted to produce.”

The 1946 essay was full of despair. While Will welcomed the United Nations and urged his readers to support it, he compared the human race to a colony of ants “which enslave most of their own population and carry death and destruction to all neighboring colonies.” Nary a word about gardens or farming in a world beset by dangers.

Will’s mood lifted but little in 1947, but he did return to a focus on the company’s business and urged his readers to “get back to work.” He got back on track as he wrote: “. . . food as well as other goods is not yet too plentiful, and some seeds are not in too great a supply. It would be wise to plan another good garden and to order your garden seed supply early.” The Victory Garden Collection had reverted to Will’s Pioneer Home Garden Collection at $1.65.