Gas rationing during WW2
What different people remember about gas rationing.

Re: gas rationing

"I have a photo of my wife's grandparents from 1942 in the US with their car.  in the front windshield on the passenger side are two stickers that look about 3-4 inches square, a large "A" and "B"  does anyone know if these are related to gas rationing during WWII
thanks    Tim"

The stickers did have something to do with rationing, but I can't remember what it was. 

 gas rationing

In May of 1942, the U.S. Office of Price Administration (OPA) froze prices
on practically all everyday goods, starting with sugar and coffee.  War
Ration Books were issued to each American family, dictating how much any one
person could buy.  The first nonfood item rationed was rubber.
The Japanese had seized plantations in the Dutch East Indies that produced
90% of America's raw rubber.  President Franklin D. Roosevelt called on
citizens to contribute scrap rubber, "old tires, old rubber raincoats,
garden hose, rubber shoes, bathing caps.".  The OPA established the Idle
Tire Purchase Plan, and could deny Mileage Rations to anyone owning
passenger tires not in use.  The national maximum "Victory Speed" was 35
miles an hour.  "Driving clubs" or carpools were encouraged.  A magazine ad
declared, "Your Car is a War Car Now."
Gasoline was rationed on May 15, 1942 on the east coast, and nationwide that
December.  The OPA issued various stickers to be affixed to the car's
windshield, depending on need.  To get your classification and ration
stamps, you had to certify to a local board that you needed gas and owned no
more than five tires.
The 'A' 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) 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, and incidentally were the most counterfeited type.  'T' was for
truckers, and the rare 'X' sticker went to Members of Congress and other
by Paul DeLucchi
Marilynn--I'm THAT old but I couldn't remember all of that.  I was too
interested in soldiers at the local Army Camp

Subject: Gas rationing

Another group of vehicles that had T stickers were buses.   I remember
seeing them on  the buses in Philadelphia.  My father-in-law had a C
sticker, because he was a safety inspector, and had to cover territory
all the way from Pennsylvania to Missouri.  My father had an A sticker,
which was enough to get us to church and for him to go airplane spotting
on the roof of a local hospital every Wednesday morning. (I was always
crushed that he didn't spot anything, but the implications of his
actually seeing an enemy plane never occurred to me.)  Unfortunately the
car was used so little it had to be hand cranked every time, which was a
bad thing for a man with a major heart problem.  So we had to get rid of
it -- which did not hurt the war effort at all.

             Elizabeth C

Re: gas rationing

Hello list  ,  And I have heard that at the end of the ' war ' there was
Warehouses Full of that kind of stuff , Collected and never used !!!
Another scam on the Sheep /Public , nothing but a Feel good effort
    Phil , who is older that dirt !!!!

Gas rationing

For those of us, like Phil, who are "older than dirt" the question of gas
rationing prompts many memories of the civilian effort during WW 2.  

Living in close proximity to the ocean, the headlights of the car had to be
diminished by using black tape across the top.   Air Raid warnings (my Dad was
an Air Raid Warden) meant closing all the curtains in your house, dousing the
lights and gathering in one room until the "All Clear" sounded.   In addition
to rationing, any scrap metal was melted down, including the wrought iron
fence around our church which went for the war effort.

Those of us who lived during that time surely recall the "Victory Gardens"
and the lack of butter...we used something akin to lard into which a pellet of
yellow food coloring was dropped and mixed...NOT even close to the real thing! 
We saved tins of grease which we took to the local grocer and, as I recall,
they were redeemed for food stamps.  

As a school child, I participated in a program called "Write a Fighter Corps"
designed to boost morale with the military and every school day started with
patriotic songs..."We Did It Before And We Can Do It Again" is one which comes
to mind.

Bottom line - there were few malcontents during those years - we were all in
the same boat and worked hard toward the war effort.   If warehouses were
"full of stuff" at the end of the war, well...without a crystal ball, it would be
a bit difficult to know when the war would end.   Few would think we had been
duped - we considered some things necessary and felt proud to have been part
of such an effort.


: gas rationing

A bit of patriotic business never hurt anyone, Phil.  I
always wondered how many of those cans I flattened made
tanks <smile> but I sure felt good doing it (besides my big
brother was in the tank corps in Belgium, so who knows about
those tins, I sure don't). Don't ignore the need for such
"feel good" efforts. Now we have psychiatrists and group
therapy to do what a bit of sugar and gas rationing and new
shoe tickets did for us back in the 1940s.


> Hello list  ,  And I have heard that at the end of the ' war ' there was
> Warehouses Full of that kind of stuff , Collected and never used !!!
>  Another scam on the Sheep /Public , nothing but a Feel good effort


Hi Everyone,

Those of you who said that the A, B, C stamps on the car windshield
were used to show how much gas you got, were correct.  My father owned
and operated 2 independent service stations in LA area during WWII.  The
stamps also determined IF you could get tires and oil.  I still have some of
stamps in my collection.

The service station owner HAD to have stamps to buy gas, oil and tires. 
basically used retreads because that was about all that were available to the
general public.  If you had a C stamp on your windshield, you could, at
reserve tires (if the dealer could get them) and you could get oil.  The B
was about 20 gallons a purchase and you could only get gas on given days, as
I remember some of the restrictions.


Jan Wheeler

Gas rationing victory gardens and all that stuff

there is a nice list just for this type of recollection...

subscribe the normal way,
with a clean, new email addressed to with the single word  subscribe in two places....once in the subject and once in the text....
wait for your welcome letter and then jump in....
there are a bunch of folks there who love to talk about just this type of thing....

Gas Rationing !

Yes, A & B stickers were for gasoline rationing. There were some additional letters such
as C and very definitely a T.  The A was for the least amount.......that is with no priority
for vehicle use whatsoever, the A allowed 3 gallons per week just because. I really don't
recall much about  the others except the T was for Farm Tractor and other high priority
and each little stamp "coupon" from a T book was good for buying 5 gallons at the time.
Other high Priority users were Doctors. Not certain but think they also were issued the
T books. T users had practically unlimited usage of gasoline.


: coupon books

by any chance are those  war ,ration , coupon books for sugar and so forth
worth anything,these days

  windshield stickers.

The general public received the "A" sticker, which was a large black "A" on a white background and it was good for 3 to 4 gallons of gas a week.  The "B" sticker was green.  Because I was ill with Tuberculosis, my dad received a "B" sticker, which allowed him 6 gallons of gas a week so that I could be taken to the doctor every Friday for blood work and an injection according to the blood work values.  Another person alluded to the Red "C" stickers and then the "T" stickers for trucks were blue.  I never saw an "X" sticker, so have no idea what color it was.  We were fortunate to have bought all new tires just before Pearl Harbor and these tires had to last us all during the war and until they were back in production after the war.  All tires had tubes at that time and our tubes had patches all over them and we had "boots" in all four tires.  The poor things had no tread at the end of four years.  Everyone carried a tube and tire repair kit, plus a jack and an air pump.  The !
early tube repair kits were for "hot" patches, but the later ones were for "cold" patches.  Dad always carried a pair of tin snips to cut whatever size patch he needed.  The patch material came in a special metal can and it's lid looked like a grater on top, because the inner tube had to be "roughed up" in order for the patch to stick securely to the glue, which was applied over the rough spot.

I'm glad the question came up, for it caused me to delve into my memory to remember all the stickers, the tires, patches, etc.  Jennie