Monday, May 2, 2011
RATION BOOKS - ADDENDUM TO "I'M OLDER THAN DIRT"
My friend posted an article on her BLOG about her grandmother's ration books from World War II. I said, sheepishly, "I have MY ration book from WWII." Yes, I AM older than dirt!
During World War II, one could not walk into a store to buy as much coffee, sugar, butter or meat which one wanted, nor could one fill up the car with gasoline. The government introduced rationing because many items were in short supply and with the Declaration Of War, the economy shifted to war production and consumer goods took a back seat to the needs of the military.
In May, 1942 The U.S. Office Of Price Administration (OPA) froze prices on practically all everyday goods starting with sugar and coffee. War Ration Books and coins were issued to all families describing how much gasoline, tires, meat, silk, shoes, and nylons that one person could purchase. 8,000 Rationing Boards were created to assess the families' rationing requirements. Cookbooks were even revised to adjust recipes to rationing.
TYPES OF RATIONING:
UNIFORM COUPON RATIONING: provided equal shares of a single commodity (e.g.: sugar) to all consumers.
POINT RATIONING: Provided equal shares of commodities (e.g.: meat, cheese, processed foods) by coupons issued for points which could be used as a combination or in a group.
DIFFERENTIAL COUPON RATIONING: Provided shares of a single product (e.g.: gasoline, fuel oil) according to varying needs.
CERTIFICATE RATIONING: Allowed individual products (e.g.: tires, cars, stoves, typewriters) only after an application demonstrated the need.
How FORTUNATE are we today, with two wars being waged, not to have rationing?