Shenandoah County Library Archives

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Peach Seed Shipment at the Woodstock Depot



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Peach Seed Shipment at the Woodstock Depot


World War, 1914-1918
Woodstock (Va)


In 1915 the German Army released the effective Chlorine gas attack of World War One against British positions in Ypres. Before the end of the war these types of Chemical agents would kill or injure millions of men on both sides.
To combat these poisons a gas mask was developed that utilized charcoal to filter incoming air. One of the most effective sources of the charcoal needed came from peach seeds. After entering the war in 1917 the US government launched a massive drive to collect peach pits for its soldier’s masks.

This photograph shows the results of one such drive in Shenandoah County. Local boy scouts and citizens pose at the Woodstock depot with a large shipment of peach pits obtained through the Chapin-Sacks Company. The scouts and those who helped them appear to be proud of the large amount of life saving materials they were providing.

Collections of these materials, and other types of drives, would continue in the county throughout WWI. Most of these items, and many others would be shipped from the railroad depot which served the community until it was demolished in the 1950s. Chapin-Sacks, which produced ice and refrigerated products such as peaches, would be purchased by the Southern Dairy in the 1920s. Production ceased there in the 1970s and the North Street site became the Town of Woodstock’s Public Works facility. Today, it is abandoned.


Donated by Robert Mowery


Shenandoah County Library


ca. 1917


Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial (CC-BY-NC)



Still Image Item Type Metadata

Original Format

Photographic Print


“Peach Seed Shipment at the Woodstock Depot,” Shenandoah County Library Archives, accessed May 24, 2024,



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