WWII Knitted Socks at Pennsylvania Military Museum

Sharing the Common Wealth showcases objects, artifacts, documents, structures and buildings from the collections of PHMC.

During World War II, the American Red Cross sponsored a program to provide handmade garments for refugees and members of the military services by organizing volunteer sewing and knitting workshops. Ruth McDanel Davis, of New Brighton, Beaver County, newlywed bride of a soldier stationed overseas, volunteered for this home front program and knitted gloves, socks, and sweater jackets during three years of service. In 1999, while helping his mother move from her Boalsburg, Centre County, home, Rich Davis discovered a knitting bag containing two balls of yarn, a pair of socks, and sets of instructions. This was the first he knew of his mother’s contributions to the war effort. When asked by her son why she never completed the second sock he found in the bag, Ruth Davis simply replied, “the war ended.” The artifacts are on view at the Pennsylvania Military Museum in Boalsburg, which honors the Commonwealth’s citizen soldiers with informative museum installations and exhibitions.