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WWII Ration Books

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War ration books were produced by the United States Office of Price Administration in 1942 when United States officially entered the Second World War. Shortages of essential war materials such as rubber, gasoline, and sugar were initially anticipated, but soon rationing grew to include food as well as fuel and sugar. Most commodities where removed from rationing by the end of 1945. The exception was sugar, which continued to be rationed into 1947. See Chronology of rationing made available by Duke University Digital Collections. Additional ration books are available from Rare Book, Manuscript, and Special Collections Library, Duke University.

Ration Book 1

Issued to the public May 4 - May 7, 1942. Of the 180,000,000 printed, 123,000,000 were issued. Initially used to ration sugar, coupons were later designated for other products. Stamps #1-4 - designated for sugar. Each stamp was worth 1 lb of sugar and was given a designed two week period during which it must be used. Stamps #5-6 - 2 lbs of sugar each and valid for a 4-week period. Stamp #7 - consumer bonus of 2 lbs of sugar for use between July 10-Aug. 22, 1942. Stamp #13 - 5 lbs sugar for 2 2/3 months expiring on Aug. 15, 1943. Stamp #14 - 5 lbs sugar for 2 1/2 months Aug. 16-Nov. 1, 1943. Stamps #15-16 - validated for 5 lbs of sugar each, for home canning. Stamp #17 - designated for a pair of shoes. Stamp #18 -1 pair shoes between June 16-Oct. 31, 1943. Stamps #19-28 - designated as coffee stamps, valid for 1 lb. of coffee each for five weeks (Home Front Coupons, Rare Book, Manuscript, and Special Collections Library, Duke University).

Print your own copy of Ration Book 1

Print the second page of the pdf file on buff paper using black and white printer. Fold in half lengthwise then fold in half again. (Home Front Coupons, Rare Book, Manuscript, and Special Collections Library, Duke University).

 

Ration Book 3

Distributed May 20, 1943 the coupons used for food and other commodities. War ration book no. 3, valid September 1943, included 8 pages of stamps, four for meat rationing, and four for a clothing rationing program never put into effect. Some clothing stamps were eventually validated for shoe rationing.

Please visit Duke University Digital Collections to view all pages.

 

Ration Book 4

Distributed late 1943 the coupons used for food and other commodities. Stamps used on the point system.

We are missing four pages from the original book. Please visit Duke University Digital Collections to see an example of Ration Book Three.

Front and Back Cover

Print this one page pdf file on buff paper using black and white printer. Trim edges. Fold in half. Place the following 6 pages inside this cover and staple along fold.

Page 1

Print this one page pdf file on light blue or gray paper. Trim left and right edges, leaving the top and bottom edge attached. Cut along dotted lines into 4 sheets. The blank area at the top or bottom of each quad will be used as the staple area in the fold of the ration book. You will have 4 copies of page 1.

Page 2

Print this one page pdf file on medium blue paper. Trim left and right edges, leaving the top and bottom edge attached. Cut along dotted lines into 4 sheets. The blank area at the top or bottom of each quad will be used as the staple area in the fold of the ration book. You will have 4 copies of page 2.

Page 3

Print this one page pdf file on medium blue paper. Trim left and right edges, leaving the top and bottom edge attached. Cut along dotted lines into 4 sheets. The blank area at the top or bottom of each quad will be used as the staple area in the fold of the ration book. You will have 4 copies of page 3.

Page 4

Print this one page pdf file on pink or light red paper. Trim left and right edges, leaving the top and bottom edge attached. Cut along dotted lines into 4 sheets. The blank area at the top or bottom of each quad will be used as the staple area in the fold of the ration book. You will have 4 copies of page 4.

Page 5

Print this one page pdf file on light green paper. Trim left and right edges, leaving the top and bottom edge attached. Cut along dotted lines into 4 sheets. The blank area at the top or bottom of each quad will be used as the staple area in the fold of the ration book. You will have 4 copies of page 5.

Page 6

Print this one page pdf file on light blue paper. Trim left and right edges, leaving the top and bottom edge attached. Cut along dotted lines into 4 sheets. The blank area at the top or bottom of each quad will be used as the staple area in the fold of the ration book. This is the last page of the ration book. You will have 4 copies of page 6.


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Ration Book Holder

Pouch used to hold ration books with C and H Pure Cane Sugar advertisement on on site and return address printed on opposite side. Print on buff paper on color printer. Trim edges. Fold in half and tape or glue bottom and side edges. Use to store ration books.


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Sugar Ration Stamps

Sugar was the first food to be rationed, as the war with Japan caused our nation’s supply of sugar to quickly be reduced by more than a third.

Instruction to print your own Sugar Ration Stamps:

Print page 2 on buff paper with color printer. Then turn page over and print page 3 on back of page 2. Trim edges. You will have six copies of the sugar ration stamps.

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Point Ration Chart

Print page 2 on buff paper with black and white printer. Trim edges, then cut into 4ths. This will produce four copies of one chart.

 



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Air Raid Book Materials

Pages will be forthcoming

Print on buff paper using black and white printer.

 



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Currency Materials

Pages will be forthcoming

Print on buff paper using color printer.

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