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World War II brought new challenges to the American people at home because of the shortages of goods that they needed or wanted to buy. Imports were reduced or cut off, and factories at home had converted to wartime production. Rationing affected virtually home and business in America.
Congress and the President granted The Office of Price Administration the authority to ration goods . Rationing permitted the necessary allocation of scarce and essential resources for military purposes as well as civilian needs.
The following are some of the rationing programs the OPA implemented:
|Gasoline||May 1942-August 1945|
|Bicycle||July 1942-September 1944|
Fuels and Stoves:
|Fuel oil and kerosene||October 1942-August 1945|
|Stoves||December 1942-August 1945|
|Solid fuels (Pacific Northwest only)||September 1943-August 1945|
|Coffee||November 1942-July 1943|
|Processed foods||March 1943-August1945|
|Meats, fish, canned fish, cheese, and canned milk||March 1943-November 1945|
|Rubber footwear||October 1942-September 1945|
|Shoes||February 1943-October 1945|
Ration books were distributed to every civilian in the country, adults as well as children--nearly 130, 000, 000 people! Ration currency included ration books, stamps, coupons, tokens, checks, and certificates.
Below you will find World War II ration items from the Indiana War History Commission Collection.
All images are provided for the personal use of patrons and researchers and may not be incorporated into publications, websites, or exhibits without written permission of the Indiana State Library or other appropriate copyright holder.
Text for the images comes from the Indiana War History Commission Collection, Box 38, located in the Manuscript Section of the Indiana State Library.
U.S. Office of Price Administration. Rationing in World War II. Washington, D.C., 1946.