It’s been almost seven months since we have been operating under some sort of restrictions. Businesses have closed, and our lives have been disrupted. Without any judgment, I thought I’d share some posters from the 1940s, during World War II. Material, food, and transportation had to be diverted to the war effort. Women and in some cases, children had to be forced into the labor ranks. Rationing was in effect for high-demand items. “Points” were issued to each person, even babies. Points had to be turned in along with money when buying restricted items. One example I found:
“A pound of bacon cost about 30 cents, but a shopper would also have to turn in seven ration points to buy the meat. These points came in the form of stamps that were distributed to citizens in books throughout the war.”
Other items were rationed as well, including gasoline. Families were allocated 3 US gallons (11 l; 2.5 imp gal) each week. You couldn’t drive very far, but that might not have been too bad, since you couldn’t buy a new car or even new tires for your old car. Also, cars and tires didn’t last nearly as long as they do today.
I started thinking about these things after visiting the “Propaganda Posters of World War II” exhibit at the Connecticut Historical Society in August. Today’s gallery includes photos from that exhibit. The posters are described in the captions, some of which are long, so I’m going to end this post without too many more words. I do have to include my favorite tidbit.
Macaroni and cheese became a nationwide sensation because it was cheap, filling, and required very few ration points. Kraft sold some 50 million boxes of its macaroni and cheese product during the war.
I love that stuff.