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Posts Tagged: rationing

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

US poster, WWII

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… Read more »

Make It Do – Shoe Rationing in World War II

US poster, WWII

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… Read more »

Make It Do – Gasoline Rationing in World War II

Seventy-five years ago this week, gasoline rationing began in the United States. Rationing was an important part of life in America during World War II. However, the 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… Read more »

Make It Do – Metal Shortages During 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, both metals and factories 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… Read more »

Make It Do – Coffee Rationing in World War II

Rationing was an important part of life in the United States during World War II. 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,… Read more »

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. 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… Read more »

Lessons from the 1940s Woman – Make It Do!

In our green times, we say, “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle,” but the 1940s woman puts us to shame. For her, “Use It Up, Wear It Out, Make It Do” was more than a slogan, it was a necessary, patriotic lifestyle. Many consumer goods, such as rubber goods and some spices, were scarce because they were produced… Read more »