Sunday, May 23, 2010

Being Rational in the 1940's

I found these wonderful books and case at an estate sale (or maybe two estate sales).  The way things are going we should be seeing these reissued any time now.
This site has a downloadable application for a California Ration Book and explains a little about them.  Every member of the family was issued a ration book and different stamps were used for different goods and different times.  This website has a good explanation.

Book 3 was issued in October of 1943, according to this website.  Everyone in the Tharp family had one.  You had to watch the daily newspaper closely for bulletins about which coupons were good for what at which time.

If you don't need it, DON'T BUY IT!

Book 4 was issued towards the end of 1943 and had a whole different look to the stamps.
Here is an explanation of the different stamps.

Another way to help with the war effort was with War Bonds.  I remember buying stamps every Tuesday (or was it Wednesday?) at school and pasting them in a book to get a savings bond.  I only ever got one bond and had to save it a ridiculously long time before I could cash it for $25.00!

Here is little Eloise Hand's savings book.

Hmmmmm.  Looks like little Eloise spent her dimes on candy instead of stamps!
Someone is actually selling a stamp book for $29.99 at this site.

Also in this folder was this.

Evidently Mrs Tharp did a lot of canning.

Rationing extended to every part of life, including fashion.  Anything that used a lot of material was unpatriotic and there was a lot of recycling going on.  I have a booklet that shows how to cut down men's suits and ladies dresses to make clothing for kids.  After all those years of wearing skimpy skirts women breathed a sigh of relief when Dior introduced his New Look in 1947.

1 comment:

  1. I know about ration books but have never seen one. My, my how times have changed. As we fight in two wars at this time, no one is asked to give up anything. In fact we were asked to spend money to keep the economy going. I deplore our commercial ways of living today. As the mother of a son who served in both Afghanistan and Iraq I wish there was some sense of being in this together as a nation. I don't agree with the politics that got us into these wars, but my heart goes out to the families of those that are serving. As one of them, I know how much sacrifice takes place, and I do not see the country as being one with that. Okay off my bandwagon. Thanks so much for posting this bit of American ephemera.


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