Smoking in the 1940s

Hey, Amy. Yes, I know you're anxious to get to the 21st century. The truth is ... well, the truth is that it's not possible at the moment. For now, you're going to have to manage as best as you can in 1945 where you're currently stuck.


Honestly, Amy, what can possibly be so bad in 1945? Word War II is over and everyone's celebrating. Why be so negative?

Maybe not being able to breathe has somethin' to do with it. Oh-my-gawd everyone is smokin' all the time like it's rilly cool! 

Seriously, you gotta get me outta here.

Smoking has become quite normal in the 1940s. As the century reaches into its mid-point, women are increasingly attracted to lighting up, especially when they are targeted in cigarette advertisements. Women want equality and freedom to make their own choices. This is used in the ad campaigns.

In the movies of this time, it's interesting to note that many of the characters are seen smoking. The allusion of the attraction to smoking is a hard one to break once established.

Though in the 21st century relatively few physicians smoke, in the 1940s it is not unusual to see a doctor smoking.

Indeed, smoking is socially accepted  for both men and women in the United States and Canada at this time.

Okay, Amy. I'm glad I finally have your attention.

The 1970s will bring forth information in print that list the health warnings of the danger of smoking cigarettes.

In the 21st century, legislation has been passed in many locales to prohibit smoking in public places.
In Canada and the United States, smoking rates continue to drop.

Anne Frank's Diary

Oh, hey, Amy. Almost didn't notice you. How's it going in 1945?

Whaddya mean, how's it goin???
I'm still waitin' for you to transport me to 2017!
*hair flip*


Well, to be completely honest with you, ... there's been a slight ... delay.

Actually, yes.

So, I'm afraid you are going to have to simply blend in with the people of 1945. Talk about mid-century things with them. Adhere to the culture of the time.
Doesn't sound too difficult to me. 

Ya, well I've kinda already tried that 'cause they feel sorry for me. They think I'm wonky not knowing where I live, so they gave me a job helpin' out in the kitchen.

Sooo, I tried to talk about somethin' I learned about World War II, and it came into my brain all sudden-like: Anne Frank's diary! 

Ya know, how her and her family were hiding behind the bookcase in Amsterdam and all that stuff.

Yes, I am  aware of Anne Frank and all that stuff.

But of course the people of 1945 have no idea about Anne Frank's diary. It won't be published the first time until 1947.

Anne's parents bought her a diary for her 13th birthday. Her first entry was written to an imaginary friend named Kitty: "I hope I will be able to confide everything to you, as I have never been able to confide in anyone, and I hope you will be a great source of comfort and support."

Annelies Marie "Anne" Frank was born in Frankfurt, Germany on June 12th, 1929.

At the age of almost five, she moved with her family to Amsterdam when the Nazis had control over Germany.

Because of the persecution toward the people of the Jewish faith, the Frank family was forced into hiding after a summons was received telling them to report to a Nazi work camp in Germany.

It is here where Anne and her family spent  two years in the Secret Annex.

Reconstruction of the bookcase that covered the entrance.

During the two years that Anne and her family lived in hiding from the Nazis, she wrote detailed entries every day, perhaps out of boredom after having to remain silent during the day.
As well as the Frank family, four other people of the Jewish faith lived with them, the van Pels and Fritz Pfeffer.

Anne's father, Otto Frank, was a business man, and the employees of his company helped everyone hiding in the Secret Annex - they supplied them with food as well as the emotional support so badly needed.


On August 4th, 1944, the Secret Annex was invaded by police officers who proceeded to arrest everyone. They were transferred to the Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland on September 3rd, 1944, after a three day journey.

When Anne and her sister, Margot, both became ill with typhus, it was the spring of 1945. Both died within one day of the other. At the time of her death, Anne Frank was 15 years  old.

This is the cover of Anne Frank's diary. A diary that leaves behind an amazing legacy.

Anne dreamed of becoming a journalist, writing in her diary on Wednesday April 5th, 1944 ...

"I finally realized that I must do my schoolwork to keep from being ignorant, to get on in life, to become a journalist, because that's what I want! I know I can write ... but it remains to be seen whether I really have talent ..."

Anne Frank   Amsterdam   Museum of Wax Figures

Rosie the Riveter

Yes, it seems I actually did stick you into the end of the Second World War, and right into the victory celebrations. But I'm pretty sure all I need to do is find the right coordinates to repair the time machine. Amy? Amy? I insist you drag yourself away from this sailor right now and communicate with me!

So, ya like, stick me here in 1940-sumthin' and you wanna wreck my fun right off the bat? Seriously?

Listen to me, Amy. You think it's all fun and good times because thankfully you  ended up being transported to the end of World War II - to May 7th, 1945. to be precise.

But I think I should let you in on the reality of what people have been going through. I think you need some perspective.

How about we look at 1944? My point of view is that it's necessary for you to have some idea of what's been going on prior to your arrival in 1945.

In 1944, an average home costs approximately $3,500 in North America.

The average salary of a home buyer is $2,300.

Young men have left their homes and are fighting in Europe. 


People are lining up in England to receive their rations of food: sugar, coffee, tea and butter. Meats are also hard to come by. 

A bottle of pop is 5 cents.

Ration Books are being  used in Canada and the United States, allowing each person a specific amount of scarce food.

During World War II, women are  involved in crucial roles, both at home and in Europe.  
More than 350,000 U.S. women are serving in the Armed Forces,  at home and abroad.


Rosie the Riveter is an American icon, symbolized as a factory worker. In 1943, more than 300,000 women work in the aircraft industry in the United States.

In Canada, approximately 50,000 women are enlisted in the Canadian Armed Forces. These jobs are mainly traditional female roles such as clerical positions and cooking. But others involve technical jobs to relieve the men from their jobs - they are needed in combat.

With the continuing lack of manpower, women are increasingly being recruited to fill these positions. In 1939, this recruitment is focused on young single women, but by 1942, married women without children are targeted for full-time work. It won't be long before women with young children will be asked to work part-time, and this will gradually be changed to full-time.

First used in a song in 1942, the term "Rosie the Riveter" is written by Redd Evans and John Jacob. "Rosie" will become the most recognized representation of women entering the workforce during World War II. 

In the years preceding 1945, when you are currently stuck, "Rosie the Riveter" is inspiring a movement. Women are entering the workforce in unprecedented numbers, responding to what they view (with the help of "Rosie") their patriotic duty.