World War II (detail from Pearl Harbor photo)

So They’ll Have Enough

As natural resources, even agricultural outputs, were diverted to support the troops, Americans faced shortages and rationing. In 1942, the U.S. government began rationing gasoline and sugar. The next year, fresh meat, butter, cheese, and canned goods were rationed as well. Every month, households received a limited number of ration stamps with point values for fresh and canned foods. Stamps had to be redeemed with each food purchase. Shoppers could exchange meat drippings and bacon fat—used for explosives—for extra points. Even with rationing, foods were in short supply. Many families tended backyard “victory gardens,” canned their own vegetables, or substituted ingredients in favorite recipes.

Poster, When You Ride Alone You Ride with Hitler!
Poster, Use It Up—Wear It Out—Make It Do!
Service station on the Pennsylvania Turnpike, September 1942
Meat-counter display with ceiling prices (highest allowable charges) and ration point values
Jars of preserved fruits and vegetables
Victory garden poster
Poster, Grow Your Own Can Your Own

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