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After the United States transitioned to a wartime economy, it was not long before there were shortages of many items. To ensure the war effort was adequately supplied, rations were instituted on many common items such as sugar, butter, and meat as well as gasoline, tires, silk, shoes, and nylon.
Gasoline rationing (to conserve rubber tires more so than fuel) began in seventeen eastern states in May 1942. The speed limit was dropped to 35 miles per hour to reduce tire wear, and most people were allowed 3-5 gallons of gasoline a week to shop, attend church, or go to medical appointments. By late 1942, when the availability of gasoline and kerosene began to run low, Americans were asked to turn down the thermostat and “winterize” their homes to conserve energy and fuel.
USA; lithograph on paper, published by Government Printing Office, U.S. Office of Price Administration, 1944. Currently on display.