Sugar rationing ended in the U.S. in June 1947 after nearly five years of shortages brought about by World War II. Here’s a ration book from the Nebraska History Museum:
An excerpt from What Did You Do in the War? (A special issue of Nebraska History Magazine, Winter 1991):
For most Nebraskans, the first sign of the war’s impact was the unprecedented rationing of more than twenty essential items. In combination with price controls, rationing was an attempt to distribute scarce goods equally and control inflation.
The first item to be rationed nationwide was sugar, which was soon followed by coffee and shoes. However, the rationed item producing the greatest inconvenience to most was probably gasoline. Each motorist was assigned a windshield sticker, indicating a priority. Most of the population received low priority “A” stickers, which allowed three to five gallons of gasoline a week. Gasoline was rationed in an effort to save tires, because supplies of vital rubber from the Far East had been cut off. There was no gasoline shortage.
Back page of ration book. History Nebraska SFN18162
The complicated rationing system was an attempt to prevent hoarding. Coded stamps were redeemable only for a specified period. Along with ration stamps, the Office of Price Administration issued tokens, or points, which were also used when purchasing rationed items.
December 7, 1941
Home Front (The): Rationing and Scrap Drives, Civil Defense, War Plants and POW Camps, Relationships and Attitudes
Battlefront (The): The Pacific Theater, The European Theater
Index of Interviewees
World War II Research Collections at the Nebraska State Historical Society
– David Bristow, Editor
(Posted 6/11/2010; updated 6/13/2022)