UNC Charlotte Special Collections J. Murrey Atkins Library - Special Collections & University Archives

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World War II Ephemera collection

 Collection — Box: SFC4 [F09.090.03.02], Folder: 539
Identifier: MS0539

Scope and Contents

A ration book shows an individual's entitlement to certain rationed goods. This collection contains ration coupons for gasoline by mileage and other goods issued during the Second World War. There are also ration cards and war ration books #3 and #4. The three books still have coupons or tokens attached inside. Included is a ration book folder or wallet. Includes photocopy of War Ration bk. no. 3 which belonged to Martin E. Boyer, Jr.


  • 1945


Language of Materials


Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Some material may be copyrighted or restricted. It is the patron's obligation to determine and satisfy copyright or other case restrictions when publishing or otherwise distributing materials found in the collections.

Biographical / Historical

Historical: There were many challenges confronting the American people at the beginning of US involvement in WWII. The government found it necessary to ration food, gas, and even clothing during that time. Americans were asked to conserve on everything and sacrifice for the good of the country. The Food Rationing Program began in the spring of 1942. The federal government needed to control supply and demand and the process would help prevent public anger with shortages and not to allow only the wealthy to purchase commodities. While industry and commerce were affected, individuals felt the effects more intensely. People were often required to give up many material goods, but there also was an increase in employment. Individual efforts evolved into clubs and organizations coming to terms with the immediate circumstances. Joining together to support and maintain supply levels for the troops abroad meant making daily adjustments. Their efforts also included scrap drives, taking factory jobs, goods donations and other similar projects to assist those on the front. Rationing regulated the amount of commodities that consumers could obtain. Sugar rationing took effect in May 1943 with the distribution of "Sugar Buying Cards." Registration usually took place in local schools. Each family was asked to send only one member for registration and be prepared to describe all other family members. Coupons were distributed based on family size, and the coupon book allowed the holder to buy a specified amount. Possession of a coupon book did not guarantee that sugar would be available. Americans learned to utilize what they had during rationing time. While some food items were scarce, others did not require rationing, and Americans adjusted accordingly. "Red Stamp" rationing covered all meats, butter, fat, and oils, and with some exceptions, cheese. Each person was allowed a certain amount of points weekly with expiration dates to consider. "Blue Stamp" rationing covered canned, bottled, frozen fruits and vegetables, plus juices and dry beans, and such processed foods as soups, baby food and ketchup. Ration stamps became a kind of currency with each family being issued a "War Ration Book." Each stamp authorized a purchase of rationed goods in the quantity and time designated, and the book guaranteed each family its fair share of goods made scarce, thanks to the war.


.1 Linear Feet


Ration books and coupons from WWII.

Related Materials

See the following collection materials for more examples of rationing supplies: Winifred Barbour Simpson (MS332) box 1:8 ; Arthur and Farrar Families (MS65) box 7:9 ; and Frederick Alexander (MS91) box 44:16-17 ; Beaumert Whitton Papers (MS117)..
World War II Ephemera collection
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Repository Details

Part of the Manuscript Collections, J. Murrey Atkins Library Special Collections and University Archives, UNC Charlotte Repository

Atkins Library, UNC Charlotte
9201 University City Blvd
Charlotte 28223 United Stated