World War II Rationing - Page 2

War Ration Book One

War Ration Book One - 1942

The following is a set of instructions that came with every ration book:

Your first ration book has been issued to you, originally containing 28 war ration stamps. Other books may be issued at later dates. The following instructions apply to your first book and will apply to any later books, unless otherwise ordered by the Office of Price administration. In order to obtain a later book, the first book must be turned in. You should preserve War Rations Books with the greatest possible care.

1 - From the time the Office of Price Administration may issue orders rationing certain products. After the dates indicated by such orders, these products can be purchased only through the use of War rations Books containing valid War Ration Stamps.

2 - The orders of the Office of Price Administration will designate the stamps to be used for the purchase of a particular rationed product, the period during which each of these stamps may be used, and the amounts which may be bought with each stamp.

3 - Stamps become valid for use only when and as directed by the Orders of the Office of Price Administration.

4 - Unless otherwise announced, the Ration Week is from Saturday midnight to the following Saturday midnight.

5 - War Ration stamps may be used in any retail store in the United States.

6 - War Ration Stamps may be used only by or for the person named and described in the War Ration Book.

7 - Every person must see that this War Ration Book is kept in a safe place and properly used. Parents are responsible for the safekeeping and use of their children's War Ration Book.

8 - When you buy any rationed product, the proper stamp must be detached in the presence of the storekeeper, his employee, or the person making the delivery on his behalf. If a stamp is torn out of the War Ration Book in any other way than above indicated, it becomes void. If a stamp is partly torn or mutilated and more than one half of it remains in the book, it is valid. Otherwise it becomes void.

9 - If your War Ration Book is lost, destroyed, stolen or mutilated, you should report that fact to the local Ration Board.

10 - If you enter a hospital, or other institution, and expect to be there for more than 10 days, you must turn your War Ration Book over to the person in charge. It will be returned to you upon your request when you leave.

11 - When a person dies, his War Ration Book must be returned to the local Ration Board, in accordance with the regulations.

12 - If you have any complaints, questions, or difficulties regarding your War Ration Book, consult your local Ration Board.

The first stamps in War Ration Book One will be used for the purchase of sugar.  When this book was issued, the registrar asked you, or the person who applied for your book, how much sugar you owned on that date. If you had any sugar, you were allowed to keep it, but stamps representing this quantity were torn from your group (except for a small amount which you were allowed to keep without losing any stamps). If your War Ration Book one was issued to you on application by a member of your family, the number of stamps torn from the books of the family was based on the amount of sugar owned by the family, and was divided as equally as possible among all the books.

War Ration Book Two

War Ration Book Two - January, 1943

This book is the property of the United States Government.  It is unlawful to sell or give it to any other person or to use it or permit anyone else to use it, except to obtain rationed goods for the person to whom it was issued.  Persons who violate Rationing Regulations are subject to $10,000 fine or imprisonment, or both.

Ration Stamps

One entire page in the 1943 Sears, Roebuck and Co. catalog assured Americans that they could buy rationed shoes from Sears by mail.  Simply detach War Ration Stamp No. 17 from your War Ration Book No. 1 (sugar and coffee book) and pin it to your order.

Question: Am I allowed to tear War Ration Stamp No. 17 out of War Ration Book No. 1?
Answer: Yes.  Even though the War Ration book states "void if detached."  Under the shoe rationing order, the government permits holders of War Rationing Book No. 1 to tear out War Ration Stamp No. 17 in order to attach it to your order when buying rationed shoes by mail.

War Ration Book Three

War Ration Book No. 3 - October, 1943

Tear Stamps out across Ration Book
instead of up and down.


Stamp No. 30 (Book Four) good for
five pounds Jan. 16 through Mar. 31.

Fuel Oil

Period No. 2 coupons good for ten
gallons per unit through Mar. 13.


Airplane Stamp No. 1 (Book Three)
good for one pair indefinitely.
War Ration Book Four

War Ration Book Four - late 1943

In accepting this book, I recognize that it remains the property of the
United States Government.  I will use it only in the manner and for the
purposes authorized by the Office of Price Administration.

War Ration Book Five was prepared but never issued.

(page 1 - Introductory information about Rationing)

(this page - Rationing Books and Stamps)

(page 3 - Liquor, cigarettes, canned goods - Farmers, the soldiers without uniforms)

(page 4 - War Bonds & War Savings Stamps)