Historical Society of 

Mount Airy, Maryland, Inc.

Artifact of the Month

The following artifact is from the Historical Society's collection and is featured this month.

War Ration Book One issued to John Harvey Haines

This United States of America War Ration Book One No. 280215 – 160 was issued to John Harvey Haines, Box #141, Mount Airy, Carroll County, Maryland.

War ration books were produced by the United States Office of Price Administration in 1942 after the United States entered World War II*.   As the country entered the war, shortages of essential war materials including rubber, gasoline, and sugar were anticipated and rationed, but soon rationing grew to include food as well as fuel. Most commodities were removed from rationing by the end of 1945. The exception was sugar, which continued to be rationed into 1947.

Ration Book 1, including this one issued to John Harvey Haines, was issued to the public May 4 - May 7, 1942. 180,000,000 books were printed, but only 123,000,000 were issued.  Initially used to ration sugar, the coupons were later designated for other products.

Ration Book One included 28 stamps.  Stamps #1-4 were designated for sugar.  Each of those stamps could be exchanged for 1 lb. of sugar and was given a designed two week period during which it must be used.  Stamps #5-6 could be used for 2 lbs. of sugar each and were valid for a 4-week period.  Stamp #7 allowed a consumer bonus of 2 lbs. of sugar for use between July 10-August 22, 1942.  Stamp #13 could be used for 5 lbs. sugar for a period of 2-2/3 months expiring on August 15, 1943.  Stamp #14 could be exchanged 5 lbs. of sugar over a period of 2-1/2 months from August 16 to November 1, 1943.  Stamps #15-16 could be validated for 5 lbs. of sugar each, for home canning.  Stamp #17 was designated for a pair of shoes.  Stamp #18 could be exchanged for 1 pair of shoes between June 16 and October 31, 1943.  Stamps #19-28 were designated as coffee stamps, valid for 1 lb. of coffee each for five weeks.

 

*2015.3.20

University of Delaware – History – WWII Ration Books https://history.udel.edu/about/history-media-center/wwii-ration-books

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