Ration Stamps
About depression gasoline. We could buy "Cassin Head" gas for 8 cents per gallon in North Texas around 1936. That is raw white gasoline just out of the processing plant. No addatives...Two for 15 cents.... Regular brand gas was 12-15 cents per gallon. AL

A "different breed of cats" back then. We were used to hardships due to the 1929 Big

Depression that lasted for about 10 years. So rationing was no big deal. Cant help but

wonder if many of the newer and softer generations could exist with it. I hope we never have to find out. Can you imagine the 35 MPH speed limit to save tires and gas

for one thing . The "A" gas stamp book for non-essential workers for 3 gals. per week?

Even essential workers were closely rationed. Wont go into food ETC.

Joe; talk about old times, remember the WPA and the CCC. Pot belly stove

in the middle room woodburning cook stove and in the city we had to either

go to the river for drift wood or get R.R. ties that didn't have creosote

for the cookstove buy a ton of coal for the potbelly. Plus the fact that

we were a little different in color didn't help matters much but Joe those

were the best years of my life. I could go on and on but I think you get

the picture. I am a happy ole dogface and I tell the wife that I have my

best FREINDS on this site, including a pleasently mature gal. see ya all. Roque


Joe and Rocky, you are both correct. You learned to live with hardships at a very early age. Took nothing for granted, so when rationing became the norm for the war, well, it was just another thing. Tain't no big thang! :pdt20:


Most people today could not live with it. Well they probably could, but not without a ton of bitchin'. Most don't appreciate what they have and that is very sad. You know what, they make themselves miserable. They are always looking for something better, waiting for another day, looking for an elusive high or something that's just out of reach. Therefore they miss so much of their lives. They throw hours and friends away. They look too far and miss what's right in front of them. Thank God I was brought up the way I was. The little things in life make me happy. Hope they always will.


Signed that "pleasantly mature gal". :wub::lol:

Marion J Chard
Proud Daughter of Walter (Monday) Poniedzialek
540th Engineer Combat Regiment, 2833rd Bn, H&S Co, 4th Platoon
There's "No Bridge Too Far"

Enough to go around

by Carl Zebrowski


There were lines at the grocery store, the butcher shop, and the gas station. Shoppers carried booklets of government-issued stamps that were required if they wanted to buy certain goods. It was rationing, with the government deciding who could buy what. It reeked of communism, and it was right here in the United States. And it wasn’t all bad.


As the military moved overseas to fight the war, it needed clothing, equipment, vehicles, weapons, and food. But the people at home needed supplies, too. The government stepped in to make sure both would have enough. The goal was to control the availability of certain essential goods and keep the prices reasonable. Shoes, appliances, razor blades, tires, heating oil, butter, cigarettes, beef, gasoline, and coffee were among the affected items.


The responsibility for running the ambitious and controversial rationing program fell to the Office of Price Administration. The first target was tires, as the Japanese gobbled up the rubber-producing islands of the Pacific. It was up to the OPA to figure out which citizens needed tires most. Those whom the OPA decided absolutely needed to drive were given a certificate right away that allowed them to buy a new set of tires. The list of the privileged included doctors, public officials, and war workers. It did not include ministers, an omission that raised a public outcry, especially from the rural South. President Franklin Roosevelt “was outraged that anyone could be so casual about both fundamentalist religion and the fundamentals of American politics,†remembered OPA administrator John Kenneth Galbraith. “Ministers were promptly proclaimed essential.â€


Eventually, the OPA realized the best way to conserve rubber was to cut down on driving. The mainstay of that effort was gasoline rationing. Again, the government determined who most needed to drive and then issued different grades of ration stickers. In the beginning, the lowest-level sticker entitled the holder to three gallons of gas a week, which was good for only about 60 miles of driving. That basic sticker quickly became a sign of low standing in the community, leading socially conscious citizens to petition for upgrades. The OPA estimated that eventually half of all drivers had better-than-basic stickers, even though a Gallup Poll determined that three-fourths of Americans who drove to work could have found other transportation.


Food rationing soon followed. In early May, representatives of each household had to visit their local schools, where teachers handed out ration books. The so-called “sugar book†contained stamps that could each be used for a specific product. “You needed a coupon to buy sugar,†reported Gordon L. Cornell of Broadalbin, New York, “but the fact that you had a coupon did in no way guarantee that you could find some!†To check out at the grocery store, a shopper handed over perhaps a sugar stamp, a butter stamp, and any other required stamps along with cash.


The second ration book the government issued, and future books, worked differently. It came filled with different-colored stamps with different point values. Red stamps were for meats, hard cheese, and fats, and blue stamps were for canned and bottled fruits and vegetables. Each person received 16 points in red stamps and 48 points in blue stamps per week. At the store, a shopper found a number displayed on the shelf below an item that told how many ration points the item cost. At checkout, the grocer would tally the cost in ration points and in dollars, and the shopper would hand over the total stamp and cash amounts owed.


The system was a big headache for the grocer. He had to take all the stamps he collected and stick them onto the pages of empty stamp booklets supplied to him by the government. He then took those filled booklets to his distributor, and the amount he was allowed to buy was based on how many stamp books he turned in. Perhaps the biggest trouble for grocers was having to keep up with the continually changing point values that the government assigned to various products.


For families with kids, shoe rationing may have presented the greatest challenge. “My dad had a couple of brothers who were married but didn’t have any children, so he would always collect coupons from them so they could get me a pair of shoes,†remembered Tom Reese, a childhood resident of Washington, DC.


Rationing was far from perfect. Sellers and buyers alike were often frustrated by the complicated regulations. Some turned to the black market. The government, for its part, had problems with enforcement. But in the end, statistics show that the average American ate better during the war than ever before. The little bit of borrowed communism had something to do with that. ...............................................................


Carl Zebrowski is the managing editor of America in WWII. This article originally appeared in the June 2006 issue of America in WWII.



Marion J Chard
Proud Daughter of Walter (Monday) Poniedzialek
540th Engineer Combat Regiment, 2833rd Bn, H&S Co, 4th Platoon
There's "No Bridge Too Far"

I recently became friends with a high school teacher from Texas. He wrote to me earlier in the week regarding my WWII jukebox, and he is working our site into his lesson plans. :armata_PDT_37: What an honor.


This afternoon he sent me a question and I am placing the question and answer here. GREAT question! :clappin:


Hi Marion,

I hope I'm not bothering you but I just tried to find an answer to something on the internet to no avail and thought you might know off the top of your head. I know that sugar was rationed in WWII but why?

Someone told me that it is because they used sugar in explosives but I haven't been able to confirm that. Do you know if that is true?


Ferryn Martin




Hi Ferryn:


Happy to answer. Actually it was due to import shortages and the fact cane sugar was shipped from such places as the Phillipines and South America.


It was remembered how difficult sugar was to obtain during the WWI, so Americans began stockpiling sugar in 1941. Sugar began being rationed and actually continued being rationed through 1946 until the sugar supply was sufficient to meet demand.




Marion J Chard
Proud Daughter of Walter (Monday) Poniedzialek
540th Engineer Combat Regiment, 2833rd Bn, H&S Co, 4th Platoon
There's "No Bridge Too Far"

Here's a bit more!




Sugar and Coffee


Sugar was the first table food rationed during World War II; sugar rationing began in the spring of 1942. So many shoppers were purchasing hundred-pound bags that stores soon set a limit of ten pounds for each purchaser. The U.S. government issued War Ration Book One in early May 1942 to ration sugar and coffee. This first book contained coupons to present at each purchase. The sugar ration was eight ounces for each person per week. The amount was later increased to twelve ounces. Office of Price Administration (OPA) inspectors enforced the rationing restrictions as best they could.


The sugar shortage meant putting less sugar in drinks and foods and finding substitutes such as saccharin and corn syrup. Honey was another popular sugar substitute; beehives were reportedly stolen in California for their honey. Coconut kisses sweetened with honey and molasses replaced chocolate kisses. Restaurants put less sugar in their sugar bowls and asked customers to limit their use. People bought more goods from bakeries to avoid depleting their own sugar supplies at home.




The rationing of coffee started in November 1942. The threat of looming coffee shortages and rationing led to much hoarding, which only caused shortages to occur sooner than expected. To combat hoarding, the government froze all sales of coffee in late October 1942. Citizens were allowed one pound of coffee per adult every five weeks. Coffee drinkers who wanted more than their rationed amount had to resort to the black market or rebrew their used coffee grounds. Many who were not coffee drinkers began drinking coffee to make use of their coupons; others gave coffee ration coupons as wedding presents. Rationing of coffee stopped in July 1943.

Marion J Chard
Proud Daughter of Walter (Monday) Poniedzialek
540th Engineer Combat Regiment, 2833rd Bn, H&S Co, 4th Platoon
There's "No Bridge Too Far"

Coffee rationing wouldn't have been much of a hardship for my grandparents since they were Irish and inveterate tea drinkers. Sugar rationing would've been a MAJOR hardship for my sweet-a-holic Dad. NO more of his mother's pies, tarts, and cakes! Fortunately, he loved molasses and butterscotch cookies.


Found this WWII era recipe that Dad would've loved:


"War Cake"


1 c molasses

1 c corn syrup

1 1/2 c boiling water

2 c raisins

2 T solid shortening (that would've meant LARD to my grandma)

1 tsp salt

1 tsp grnd cinnamon

1/2 tsp grnd cloves

1/2 tsp grnd nutmeg

3 c flour

1 tsp baking soda

2 tsps baking powder


In largepot, combine molasses, corn syrup, water, raisins, shortening, salt, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat and cool to room temp. Preheat oven to 350. Sift together flour, baking soda, and baking powder. Combine with molasses mixture & beat well. Divide batter between two well greased 9x5" loaf pans. Bake 45 minutes or until done. Cake will be dense & will not rise much.


Most of the recipes were eggless also. Were the eggs going to feed our boys?

I'd think so.




It sounds yummy. Maybe I will try it in the near future. Danka!


Here's a neat site I'm sure you will enjoy:







This is from an ENGLISH site:


The Standard Rations

I read with great interest the article on this site from the Derby Telegraph Bygones WWII: Cabbage patch army beat the rationing blues during wartime[[1]] Eric Swales memories of that era and how people had to manage on food rations got me thinking just what sort of meals were made then – what recipes were created using only the standard rations?


I found the following details on what the standard rations were. The quantities are per week unless otherwise stated:


Food rations


1s 2d (approximately 1 lb 3 oz or 540 g) of meat (offal or sausages weren't rationed)


4 oz (113 g) bacon or ham


3 pints (1.7 l) of milk per week or 1 packet of milk powder per month


2 oz (57 g) butter


2 oz (57 g) margarine


2 oz (57 g) fat or lard


2 oz (57 g) loose tea (teabags were not used widely in the UK)


1 egg per week or 1 packet (makes 12 “eggsâ€) of egg powder per month


2 oz (57 g) jam


3 oz (85 g) sugar


1 oz (28 g) cheese (vegetarians were allowed a bigger cheese ration, as they gave up their meat ration)


3 oz (85 g) sweets


2 lb (907g) onions (onions were only rationed between 1942-1944)


plus, 16 "points" per month for tinned and dried food.


Non-food rations


67 (later 48) “points†for clothing per year (e.g. 2 points for a pair of knickers, 5 points for a man's shirt, 5 points for a pair of shoes, 7 points for a dress and 26 points for a man's suit). Clothing rationing points could be used for wool, cotton and household textiles. People had extra points for work clothes, such as overalls for factory work. No points were required for second-hand clothing and fur coats, but their prices were fixed. Before rationing lace and frills were popular on knickers but these were soon banned so material could be saved.


16 oz (454 g) of soap per month (household soap, beauty soap, and soap flakes, but not shaving soap)


How on earth would we manage today?

Marion J Chard
Proud Daughter of Walter (Monday) Poniedzialek
540th Engineer Combat Regiment, 2833rd Bn, H&S Co, 4th Platoon
There's "No Bridge Too Far"

Here are some depression and WWII recipes!



Marion J Chard
Proud Daughter of Walter (Monday) Poniedzialek
540th Engineer Combat Regiment, 2833rd Bn, H&S Co, 4th Platoon
There's "No Bridge Too Far"

I had to laugh when I opened this topic. I had JUST finished scanning the inside cover of one of my ration cookbooks to post here!!! I have several of these cookbooks and am planning a party after the Easter Holiday (I have a rather large herd for Easter, so I need to rest up before then and not do any real entertaining before__) that features all ration recipes.

The book I found today was put out by Betty Crocker and featured info on the point systems, how to stretch certain products (butter bread before brining it to the table, whipping gelatin into your butter)

I also found a small post war cookbook put put by some beef council that featured pot roasts the size of Belgium.....


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