Page 3525

3525 THE TWENTIETH CENTURY-THE GREAT WAR.

Every effort was made to stimulate the

smuggling of rubber past the blockade,

and many neutral vessels sought to fool

the British blockaders. False compartments and even false articles of various

kinds containing a rubber core were

resorted to. All sorts of substitutes for

rubber were evolved, but, of course, none

was wholly satisfactory. Many automobiles came to have solid tires; on others

the wheels contained an ingenious system of

coiled springs which would reduce the shock.

Copper, nickel, vanadium, chromium,

and anchromium were among the other

articles of which there was a shortage.

The available supply of such articles

was bought up in the neighboring neutral

countries, and every effort was made to

gather these articles at home. Copper,

bronze, and brass door knobs, bedsteads,

chandeliers, pots and pans, and even

church bells were carefully gathered from

all over Germany. The soldiers were

instructed to save the empty cartridge

cases and even to gather up the copper

fragments from exploded enemy shells.

The quest for copper became so great

that the copper roofs of many historic

buildings were torn off. Certain iron industries made large profits through supplying iron stove doors, chandeliers, pots and

pans, and other articles to take the place of

brass articles commandeered by the Government. In course of time the cartridge

cases came to be made in large measure

of soft iron instead of copper and brass.

Not only did the Germans experience

shortage of food but they were greatly

embarrassed by lack of clothing and foot

wear. The Central Powers did not produce

sufficient wool for their own needs, and

the Allied blockade ultimately cut off

practically the whole of the cotton imports.

Efforts were made to stimulate the production of cotton in Turkey but without

important results. Resort had to be made

more and more on the part of the civilian

population to wooden shoes, and, in summer, many of the adult population went

barefooted; in fact, they were exhorted