Arago: Exhibits


Pumpkins & V-Mail During WWII

Brewing Industry Foundation advertisement featuring V-Mail

Advertisement for the Brewing Industry Foundation from an unidentified magazine circa 1944.


Example of a V-Mail letter in its post-microfilm print form

A Brewing Industry Foundation ad from World War II uses pumpkin carving as an example of the “small familiar pleasures” that a soldier thinks of during tough times. Besides celebrating Halloween and drinking a beer, the ad also suggests letter writing as a good stress reliever: “letters keep up morale…Write that V-Mail letter today.”

V-Mail, or Victory Mail, was the result of a combined effort of the Post Office Department and the War and Navy Departments to make sure that soldiers overseas would be able to stay in touch with their loved ones back home. To make wartime mail more efficient, a letter would be transferred onto microfilm before it was sent overseas, where it was then reproduced as a smaller version of the original. Not only did this mean that letters would reach their destination faster, but they also took up less space so there would be more room for transporting important supplies.