TRUMAN STATE UNIVERSITY Pickler Memorial Library Truman State University

Civilian “War Effort” Documents, World War II
Musdp Collection W2

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Rationing and War Bonds
During World War II, the civilian population of the United States, and most other countries for that matter, was rationed to the bare necessities when it came to goods needed by the military. Rationed items included food stuffs as well as items made from materials used in the manufacture of military supplies, equipment and arms.  Such things as clothing fabrics, shoes & other leather goods, metals, oil products and rubber were hard to obtain.  When such goods were available, citizens could purchase them with a combination of cash and a specified amount of ration stamps, but as the stamps themselves were rationed and those allotted applied to numerous types of items, difficult choices sometimes had to be made. 

Civilians also contributed to the war effort with the purchase of U S Government Defense Savings Bonds or “War Bonds”.  These were purchased at a discounted price and redeemed for full value at maturity.  Those who could not afford the full price of a Bond could purchase them in incremental amounts by buying $.25 cent stamps at the Post Office and redeeming them for a Bond when the total amount was saved. Children were encouraged to save this way so stamps could also be purchased at school.

E Skipwith Harrison of Kirksville donated these ration and savings booklets to the Museum in 1973.

W2:1 War Ration Book No 3

Seriel No 454-496BZ, issued to Ella S Harrison; unused book with validation stamp affixed; contains 8 pages, 2 types of stamps

W2:2 Postal Savings Plan for the Purchase of United States Defense Savings Bonds
  $25 Bond booklet; contains twenty (20) $.25 stamps ($5.00) toward the $18.75 needed to purchase a $25 Bond



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