To avoid fraud, ration stamps had to be detached in the presence of the shopkeeper. Loose stamps were void. If you lost your book, woe is you.
Shortage of food affected everyone on a daily basis, but many other things were scarce, too. Major purchases like cars, bicycles, and kitchen appliances required proof of need and special certificates. Even typewriters were rationed because the military needed so many.
Leather shoes were rationed in favor of combat boots. Keeping growing children shod was a challenge. Fashion faced many changes. In an effort to save fifteen percent of yardage used in wearing apparel, skirt lengths and the width of slacks were restricted; hems and fabric belts could be no more than two inches. Cuffs, patch pockets, ruffles, and attached hoods were prohibited. Women turned in their nylon stockings to make powder bags for naval guns. Sewing became more popular, but even the production of sewing machines was limited.
Most rubber came from rubber tree plantations in southeast Asia, occupied by Japan. War production factories needed every bit of rubber they could find. Civilians were urged to turn in old tires, garden hoses, rubber boots. Tires were rationed early, from January 1942 through December 1945.
Even if you had good tires, your driving was limited. Gasoline was rationed to conserve tires. Almost everyone had an "A" classification, which entitled the holder to four gallons per week. Their cars were non-essential to the war effort. A "B" classification for those with essential jobs, like industrial works, qualified for eight gallons per week. Important people like doctors, ministers, mail carriers, and railroad workers had a "C" classification. Members of Congress had the unlimited "X" classification. A windshield sticker proclaimed your status.
|"Some people have all the luck. All I've been gettin' is fish."|