Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Artifacts: Ration Books

My daughter is cleaning out my parents' home for us. In the process she is finding some interesting things, at least to me.

One such example is a World War II Ration Book. I do not recall ever seeing this before.

There were four series of ration books issued. Book Four it appears was issued in 1943.

The book originally contained red, green, and blue stamps in addition to some spares and tokens. The one I have now contains only green and blue stamps.

The stamps themselves have a letter and a number and an image.

I read a little about the rationing system and how it was used.

Just because you had a ration book didn't mean you could get the goods either. Sometimes people waited in line for a long time only to be disappointed when it was their turn.

My grandparents raised much of their own food. I know they were pretty self-reliant.

Still there were things that simply could not be had except through the ration system.

We found a ration that had been used to buy an oil heater. There is no description of the heater so I am guessing. But my grandparents had a fairly large chicken house and they raised chicks and sold them among other things. So I suspect the heater may have been for that.

We also found some bank statements and canceled checks from the 1930's and a couple of invoices.

Another thing that fascinated me was a hand sketching of a golf course that my dad had drawn on the back of a sheet of analysis pad paper. It was clearly something he was thinking or dreaming about on his farm. I remember him talking about the possibility of a golf course but I had never before seen this sketch.

It is kind of thrilling in a way to actually have something that represents a dream or idea that he had.


Lori1955 said...

Wow, what great treasures your daughter has found. I knew that they rationed things in WWII and that they had stamps for it but I have never seen them before. Just too cool.

~Betsy said...

These are awesome! How fun to find such treasures!

¸.•*´)ღ¸.•*´Chris said...

As painful as cleaning out a house is, finding such things is fascinating, I have found. I discovered many interesting things at my folks place and I almost felt like I understood them better in death than I did in life.

Do you have any plans of putting some of these things into a scrapbook?