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Indiana State Library

Library > Collections & Services > Collections > Rare Books & Manuscripts > World War II - Online Exhibit > Rationing in Indiana Rationing in Indiana

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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:

Transportation Commodities:

Tires January 1942-December1945
Automobiles February 1942-October1945
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


 Sugar  May 1942-1946
 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 sources:

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.