Manufacturing Victory at Naper Settlement

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Manufacturing Victory comes to Naperville from the national World War II museum, and paints a picture of the home front during the war, through a unique lens.

“This exhibit is giving a highlight of the various efforts that the United States was taking in preparation for the war, from an industrial perspective,” Said Louise Howard, the chief curator at Naper Settlement

From National History to Naperville History

The exhibit upstairs shows how America at large used manufacturing during World War II. But it has some small town connections as well that lead right here to Naperville.

Howard said, “One of the highlights that we’re doing locally, is following the efforts that our own Kroehler Manufacturing Company put forth to support the war efforts,”

Kroehler switched their local furniture manufacturing efforts to war effort manufacturing, making things like plane propellers which are on display in the exhibit.

Learning Local Contributions

But a journey downstairs shows a more personal connection between Naperville and World War II.

“We have a pop-up exhibit, home front Naperville, that focuses on the way Naperville residents responded to the war. That can be anything from signing up for service, to growing victory gardens, buying war loans, working with the local library to do letter writing campaigns anything to support the war effort and the soldiers,” Said Andrea Field, curator of research at Naper Settlement

Some Naperville residents even gave artifacts for the display.

“The hat on the staircase actually belonged to my grandfather,” said Field.

The second part of the downstairs exhibit comes from the Smithsonian sights project, and showcases Japanese Internment during the war, and the questions it raises about our democracy.

The exhibit runs through May 25th

Naperville News 17’s Ryan Skryd reports.


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