Burlap Flour Sack
Artifact Is: 3 Dimensional
Located at: Longmont Museum
Artifact Significant To: Colorado, Nation
A burlap flour sack, 24 inches by 40 inches, used to ship flour to Europe during World War I. Printed on the sack is: “Colorado’s Flour, Donation to Belgian Non-Combatants, Funds Secured by Denver News and Times, War Relief Donation, American Consul, Flour Manufactured by the Longmont Farmers M&E [Milling and Elevator] Company, Longmont Colorado U.S.A.” Longmont Museum object ID A.009.020. This object will be on exhibit from February 2 to May 13, 2018, as part of “WWI: Longmont & the Great War” at the Longmont Museum.
Why Is This Artifact Significant?
World War I is often a “forgotten war,” but it changed Europe forever and brought the United States onto the global stage. This well-preserved flour sack comes from early in the war in 1914, when the United States was on the sidelines in the conflict. This sack was part of a shipment of over 1,000,000 pounds of flour sent to Europe from Colorado flour mills. Private donations paid for the flour, ground in local mills like the Longmont Farmers Mill, to be shipped by train to New York and from there directly to provide aid to Belgium.
How Does The Artifact Relate To Colorado History?
At the start of World War I Germany provoked worldwide condemnation by invading neutral Belgium. In Colorado, two newspapers, the Denver Times and the Rocky Mountain News, led a drive to send flour to Belgium. They argued that Colorado could share its New World abundance with the war-torn Old World. The November 25, 1914 Denver Times newspaper describes small towns like Loveland and Longmont raising money and loading railcars with flour to be sent to Denver to join the train heading east. Flour mills from around Colorado were selected to grind flour for the relief effort.