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Posts Tagged: rationing in World War II

Victory Gardens in World War II, on Sarah Sundin's blog

Victory Gardens in World War II

For the average American in World War II, the Victory Garden was a practical way to contribute to the war effort. Some 20 million Victory Gardens were planted (US population in 1940 was 132 million), and by 1943, these little plots produced 40 percent of all vegetables consumed in the US. It’s estimated that 9-10 million tons of vegetables were grown. The Need for Victory Gardens Wartime needs stretched agricul... Read Article
Gasoline Rationing in World War II. On Sarah Sundin's blog

Make It Do – Gasoline Rationing in World War II

Although rationing was an important part of life in America during World War II, the US government was apprehensive about gasoline rationing. As a symbol of freedom of movement, the automobile represented everything American, and politicians feared riots and rebellion if they curtailed that freedom. Gasoline Shortage In early 1942, German U-boats ravaged Allied shipping off the US East Coast and in the Gulf of Mexico... Read Article
Sugar Rationing in World War II

Make It Do – Sugar Rationing in World War II

What could be more American than Hershey bars, homemade cookies, and birthday cake? During World War II, these items were hard to come by in the United States. Short on Sugar When the Japanese conquered the Philippines in the early months of 1942, the United States lost a major source of sugar imports. Shipments from Hawaii and Central and South America had to be curtailed 50 percent as cargo vessels were diverted fo... Read Article
Make It Do - Metal Shortages in World War II

Make It Do – Metal Shortages in World War II

Imagine going to the store and not finding batteries, thumbtacks, alarm clocks, or paper clips on the shelves. During World War II, metals were needed for military purposes. Ships and planes and jeeps and guns and ration tins and helmets took precedence over civilian products. After the United States entered the war, factories quickly shifted from manufacturing civilian goods to military matériel. Preparation for Wa... Read Article

Make It Do – Tire Rationing in World War II

During World War II, rationing was a large part of life on the United States Home Front. Tires were the first items to be rationed. Rubber Shortage The Japanese conquered the prime rubber producing nations of Malaya and the Dutch East Indies from January to March of 1942, eliminating 91% of America’s rubber supply. Since cargo ships were needed for military purposes, the ability to import rubber from South Amer... Read Article
US poster, World War II

Make It Do – Rationing of Butter, Fats & Oils in World War II

Rationing was part of life on the US Home Front during World War II. Along with gasoline, sugar, coffee, canned and processed foods, meat, and cheese—butter, fats, and oils were rationed. To help produce the glycerin needed by the military, housewives also collected kitchen waste fats. Why Fats? Shortages of butter and oils began early in the war. Most cooking oils came from Pacific lands conquered by the Japanese,... Read Article

Make It Do – Meat and Cheese Rationing in World War II

Rationing of meat and cheese was an important part of life on the US Home Front. A complex and constantly changing system kept grocery shoppers on their toes. Why meat and cheese? The United States produced meat and cheese for her civilians and military, and also for her Allies. During World War I, food shortages were a serious problem, with hoarding, escalating prices, and rushes on stores. When World War II started... Read Article
US poster, WWII

Make It Do – Rationing of Canned Goods in World War II

Rationing of processed foods was an important part of life on the US Home Front. A complex and constantly changing system kept the grocery shopper on her toes. Why processed foods? Tin was short. The Japanese controlled 70 percent of the world’s tin supply. Tin’s resistance to temperature, shock, and moisture made it an ideal packaging material. The US military used it for ration tins, ammunition boxes, plasma co... Read Article

Make It Do – Shoe Rationing in World War II

During World War II, many items were rationed in the United States, including shoes. Why Shoe Rationing? Due to the serious rubber shortage (Make It Do-Tire Rationing in World War II), footwear made of rubber or with rubber soles was rationed or unavailable. Also, the military had a high need for leather, not just for shoes and combat boots, but for those popular leather flight jackets. As a result, civilians made do... Read Article
US poster, 1943

Make It Do – Coffee Rationing in World War II

Seventy-five years ago, coffee rationing began in the United States. Although not necessary for survival—though that’s debatable—coffee has been a staple in the American diet since the Boston Tea Party, and coffee rationing was extremely unpopular. Why Coffee? During World War II, Latin America produced bumper crops of coffee beans, and those countries were Allies or neutral. However, all coffee came to Ame... Read Article