Bones for Fertilisers: Put them out for Salvage (c.1940)
Lithograph, Fosh and Cross Ltd for HMSO
Old folds, else fine (A-)
76 x 50 cm
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Waste not, want not, was the Home Front philosophy, particularly when it came to all-important food production. The present poster shows one of the most common uses of bones, for fertilisers. They were also used in the production of explosives. The British enthusiasm for bone fertilisers had first emerged in the early part of the 19th century, with Liebig complaining in 1815 that “England is robbing all other countries of their fertility. Already in her eagerness for bones, she has turned up the battlefields of Leipsic, and Waterloo, and of Crimea… Like a vampire she hangs from the neck of Europe.” With chemicals and plants that had previously been producing fertilisers diverted to more needy parts of the war effort, the passion for bones was resurrected.