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7 Unexpected Shortages That Occurred Throughout History

Photo by Hugh Adams from Shutterstock

In 1946, a shortage of brushes that were used for painting homes in Australia led to a secret operation

The wide majority of military missions have had all sorts of silly-sounding code names. However, “Operation Pig Bristle” managed to live up to its strange title. Back in 1946, Australia suffered an extreme shortage of paintbrushes that were meant to paint houses.

The funny part is that it matched with a housing boom in the Australian market, which should have come as a pleasant surprise, if not for the painting brushes shortage. This terrible shortage led to the RAAF’s No. 38 Squadron receiving a dangerous mission to solve the issue.

As China was descending at the time in a civil conflict, while it was also unmapped and difficult to access by air, the RAAF decided to send three planes on a couple of missions to transport 25 tons of pig bristles. Why pig bristles, you might wonder? Well, they were a major piece in paintbrushes. Luckily, the operation was a huge success.

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3 Responses

  1. I found this so interesting as I do remember some of the shortages, but never knew the reason why? I love learning about history as one is never to old to learn something new. Thank you so very much.

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