By the end of 1942, half of U.S automobiles were issued an ‘A’ sticker which allowed 4 gallons of fuel per week. That sticker was issued to owners whose use of their cars was nonessential. Hand the pump jockey your Mileage Ration Book coupons and cash, and she (yes, female service station attendants because the guys were over there) could sell you three or four gallons a week, no more. For nearly a year, A-stickered cars were not to be driven for pleasure at all.
The green ‘B’ sticker was for driving deemed essential to the war effort; industrial war workers, for example, could purchase eight gallons a week. Red ‘C’ stickers indicated physicians, ministers, mail carriers and railroad workers. ‘T’ was for truckers, and the rare ‘X’ sticker went to members of Congress and other VIPs. Truckers supplying the population with supplies had a T sticker for unlimited amounts of fuel.
Securing the Future at Home:
Institutions such as restaurants, hotels, and hospitals were instructed to apply for their ration books at the high schools. Restaurants were issued between 20-30% more of an allotment of ration coupons than private citizens for sugar, flour, processed foods, canned goods, and meat. Receiving more sugar, flour, and meat was important because it meant they could keep on making their signature dishes and baked goods. The length of time the coupons were valid changed every 3-4 months, in order to prevent any counterfeiting. When the new ration book coupons appeared, then everyone went back to the OPA authority, to officially sign up for the new coupons and restaurant owners then would restock their supplies.
The Office of Price Administration [OPA] imposed a strict rationing policy for restaurant operators: they were to document the number of meals served during the month of December 1942. This number would then determine what the restaurant could charge as their “ceiling price” for the next year. But if these figures were considered too low, or incorrect, the restaurant owner had to fill out a form to explain why and then petition to the local board for a price increase.
DIY Rationing :
Orange One-Egg Cake:
2 cups flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup shortening
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 teaspoon grated orange peel
1 cup orange juice
Preheat oven to 350 for metal pans, 325 for glass dishes. Grease and flour a 9-inch pan or dish.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
In the large bowl of an electric mixer, cream shortening, sugar, egg and orange peel.
Add dry ingredients alternately with orange juice, beating well after each addition. Begin and end with dry ingredients.
Pour batter into a greased and floured 9-inch pan and bake at 350 for metal pans and 325 for glass dishes for 30 to 35 minute or until cake tests done when a tester is inserted in the center. Cool in the pan on a wire rack.
Leave in the pan and frost with a 1940s version of orange frosting, by beating together 1/4 cup margarine, softened, and 2 cups powdered sugar. Add 3 tablespoons orange juice gradually. If necessary, add a tiny bit more juice or sugar until frosting is of good spreading consistency.