By Cory Doctorow at 12:39 pm Wed, Jun 20, 2012
Would you look at these adorable BritishWWII urchins enjoying their wartime carrot-on-a-stick in these stills from a 1941 Pathe newsreel?
CARROTS ON STICKS, 1941
Those are some weird-looking carrots. Wartime UK, though…I’m surprised they didn’t go the full Fallout and sell Lizard-on-a-stick.
They are what carrots are supposed to look like, the ones we have now are “weird”.
In my day we had to go and eat a handful of hot gravel…
Gravel? We used to DREAM about gravel …. we had to eat a handfull of cold poison ….
Hah! Cold poison!
We couldn’t get cold poison for love nor money.
We had to beat one another to death with carrots – hold on…
Back in my day we would all starve to death and then sell each others’ bodies for some more nourished bodies.
You were lucky
Never mind… late to the Luxury party.
In my day they didn’t have the carrot on a stick, they only had the albatross.
What flavor was it?
It’s bleedin’ albatross flavor, innit?
And NO, it didn’t come with any bloody wafers!
Naw, it needs a dollop of mushy peas to be luxury.
Carrot AND stick – how clever! Usually you are offered one or the other in most approaches, so getting both simultaneously must have seemed quite the novelty.
Yes, in our current age of abundance these are a retrospective novelty treat found next to the jello pit at S&M parties. Kids of 1941, you’re going to love the future.
When done right, the subject is conditioned into thinking that they really always wanted the stick. Through this understanding they are freed from their harmful delusions of self determination. They come to realize that it is not fear of the stick, but their desire for the carrot that enslaves them.
Carrot AND stick
“I think we should use the carrot and stick approach. Take the carrot and stick it up his fucking arse, followed by the stick, followed by an even bigger, rougher carrot.”
I miss The Thick Of It.
We used to give the kids frozen broccoli and call it “broccoli popsicles” and they would eat it. When their friends would come over they would offer broccoli popsicles and the friends would happily take it and report to their parents excitedly that they had a broccoli popsicle. Then they turned 7.
My 3 year old apparently has the street smarts of a 7 year old.
Keep an eye on that one..
By the end of the war you had to sleep with the grocer’s ugly son to get a carrot on a stick. Most kids were lucky to get a stick that had been scraped along the bottom of a pot of Mock Carrot Stew (which was mostly old newspapers and turnip parings).
Why the sticks? Isn’t that sort of like a banana on a stick, or a sandwich on a stick?
I’m thinking because they are cooked carrots, and therefore may be more like a boiled potato.
In the first photo, the kids look confused. Like, “WTF? Why would we want to eat carrots on a stick?” Was this taken during a war or something?
EDIT: Ok… read the caption. It WAS taken during a war. MMMMMM!!! CARROTS ON A STICK!
And here I thought that during WWII all the carrots were being eaten by British pilots, who, if what I’ve heard is correct, could always be spotted in a crowd because of the orange tint to their skin.
Now that I think about it I wonder if anyone who goes for artificial tanning knows that they could get the same effect from eating lots of carrots…
The story I heard was that the British government started the rumor that British pilots were eating lots of carrots and had great night vision because of it. It was made up as a way to explain how the RAF always knew where the Luftwaffe was going to attack. The reality was of course that they had invented RADAR.
Not just RADAR, but RADAR in the planes themselves. Also, due to prior efforts to promote cultivation of carrots in kitchen gardens, they were faced with an enormous glut of carrots. But mostly the RAF thing.
Liked for linking to the delightful Carrot Museum.
Wartime rationing strictly limited meats, fats, and sweats. Domestic vegetables were completely un-rationed, and in ready supply.
My mum knows someone who was a child in London during the war and recalls the hunger as being pretty bad.
Proving that nearly everything is better when impaled on a wooden stick.
Even salvation got better after they impaled god on a wooden stick.
In which religion did that happen?
Ummm, you know, crucified for our sins?
Crucifixion =/= impalement.
I claim artistic license in this case, because it’s not that different.
Also taking artistic license here, I declare that Spartacus died for our sins!
The only way they’re not that different is that both involve wood
“But one of the soldiers with a spear pierced his side, and forthwith came there out blood and water”
There’s your impalement
The world would be hugely different if instead of nailing Christ to the cross, they had jammed it up his asshole and just let him wriggle and moan there until he rectum-bled himself to death. I wonder if the Church would be less or more homophobic if that had happened. Seriously, probably less.
Somehow I don’t think the cross would have a horizontal in that case…
We’d be seeing more fishes, nothing more.
And his followers identified themselves by making the sign of the stick to each other. (Later generations completely misinterpreted the meaning of the raised middle finger.) And St. Thomas’ touching of the wounds was quite a spectacle.
Isn’t WWII London where the “carrots help you see in the dark” myth came from? Maybe this was savvy store owners trying to shill carrots onto kids by appealing to their patriotism.
The Cutest Generation
You all had it easy:
I feel like Cut-Me-Own-Throat Dibbler is behind this somehow. . .I mean, a carrot on a stick? For one penny? It’s got the major earmarks of a CMOT Dibbler enterprise; a terrible food at an incredible price.
In 1941 over one million homes were destroyed in London. It was the early peak of violence in The Blitz. Parks and rooftops had anti-aircraft cannon, often “manned” by women. Rationing was in effect, and the climate was one of great fear. I guess a carrot was pretty nice.
A mere eight years later, these children would be among the first emigrants to Burgundy-Pimlico.
I hope they were issued passports?
I was wondering if anyone would get it. I wish that they still made movies like that. By which I mean movies with Margaret Rutherford and Hermione Baddeley.
I was reading about post-war rationing a few months ago. I had no idea that it was so draconian that they limited the numbers of seams that you were allowed in your garments.
It is not that obscure is it? Here supermarkets these days are selling lots of old black and white British films on DVD, including all the Ealing Comedy stuff, at only 3-4 quid each.
They shouldn’t be obscure. They’re great films. I’m not sure how much cultural crossover there is between Ealing Comedies and BB readership.
Monty Python but no St. Trinians. The Pythonesque cross dressing didn’t come from the Goons.
The poignant detail here is the word “Ices” crossed out.
“eat your carrots, kids. There’s a war on. . . ”
The sticks could then be used as baby bayonets to defend against bady invaders.
Perhaps something good came out of all that misery. Today, with an efficient, nationalised train system – itself supported by our solid manufacturing base – together with free universities, a strong unbiased BBC, the NHS protected from privatisation, the disabled and elderly valued, inner cities safe for everybody, no children living in poverty, an end to nepotism and the class system (the monarchy quietly retired with dignity), no misguided military action raining enormous kinetic violence upon peoples who pose no threat to us and a police force that would never, for example, shoot an unarmed man seven times in the head in public, before lying about him to the press, it truly is a better Britain in which we live.
Oh, hang on a minute… fuck.
Well, we didn’t have an NHS at all before the war, as just one example- in fact, you could argue that that did “come out of all that misery”. I’d say that British society now is much better than it was in say 1935.
The black breed of carrot would look haggish, evil & yummy, a nice Halloween treat!
Purple is the original color for carrots.
But, wait- oranges were always orange, right?
What are you, fruit blind?
I wonder. Are the carrots cooked? hot? raw? frozen? I could see the novelty in a frozen carrot on a hot summer’s day.
Wouldn’t be easy on the teeth, though.
When I was a lad, all vegetables were frozen. Unfortunately, that’s actually true.
Mmmmmm, time for your seconds of mock dandelion greens, little A
Sweet as the moment when the pod went pop!
I don’t know if I’d eat them like a candied treat, but I’ve pulled some carrots from the garden that were unbelievably sweet. I would imagine wartime taste buds deprived of sweetness for a while would find them even more impressive.
If you put a starchy vegetable in the fridge for a week or two, it will saccharify, and turn sweet. In New England, avid gardeners deliberately leave parsnips, carrots and taters in loose earth, to be dug up in spring. Yes, the ground is frozen, but if it’s loose earth you can still dig them out. I don’t know about down South, but this is a common practice among old-timer gardeners in Vermont.
here’s but one example http://www.no-dig-vegetablegarden.com/carrots-leave-old-carrots-in-the-ground-or-dig-out.html
There’s a technique to it
ed (again): look at the pic. They’re wearing coats with short pants, and it looks extra-bleak, like early spring… there are no “ices” but there are sweet carrots. Also, the girl on the left is licking it… kids lick sweet things like the way she is… those are SWEET carrots, which are ACTUALLY A TREAT if you’ve ever had one. I have, and, I must say, for a natural treat, a sweet carrot is WONDERFUL. Sure, I’d rather have me some ice cream. In the absence of ice cream, strawberry shortcake or anything else… I would totally DIG a sweet carrot on a stick.
those kids do NOT look happy to be eating carrots on sticks. especially the one in the middle.
the kid on the right looks unhappy but resigned to eating the damn thing
Carrot is better than no-carrot, especially when there’s a war on.
I admit I wasn’t born in 1941, but I’ve had some experience of British carrots in the 60’s and they weren’t fat, short and faceted. I think those might actually be carrot ices – a sort of carrot sorbet.
No, that’s not MUCH better, but it’s less likely to break your teeth and make you hate the world.
also NOT a cocksicle
It was wicked hard to get hold of LN2 during the Blitz, but somehow people made do.
Boy, look mat the size of them carrots! They sure don’t make ’em like they used to.
Yeah, those children are TINY.
Kids not food Old school uk WWII
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