World Word II was known for many things, including gasoline rationing. It turns out gasoline rationing had nothing to do with gas. Gas purchases were restricted to conserve on tires. The Japanese armies had cut the U.S. off from its chief supply of rubber.
Gas Rationing Classification
From what I understand, it worked like this:
• An “A” classification, which could be had by almost anyone, entitled the holder to four gallons a week.
• A “B” classification was worth about eight gallons a week.
• A “C” was reserved for important folk, like doctors
• The exclusive “X” went to people whose very survival required that they be able to purchase gasoline in unlimited quantities.
Cecil Adams writes, “Rationing was handled through the federal Office of Price Administration. To get a classification and rationing stamps, citizens appeared at the OPA office in person and swore to the high heavens that they (1) needed gas desperately and (2) owned no more than five automobile tires (any in excess of five were confiscated by the government).
Each driver was given a windshield sticker that proclaimed his classification for all the world to see. Theoretically, each gallon of gasoline sold was accounted for. The buyer surrendered his stamp at the point of purchase, and the vendor forwarded the records to the OPA.”
Gas rationing took place between December 1, 1942 through August 15, 1945.
Cecil adds. “Speed limits were 35 MPH for the duration. For a short time in 1943, rations were reduced further and all pleasure driving was outlawed.”
Image provided by Pat Van Eaton.
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