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One of the major efforts needed during the war was homefront conservation. Since so much production was needed for the war effort, conservation on the homefront let everyone concentrate more on the war instead of producing extra for the home. Urgent requirements for war materials caused many shortages in consumer goods. In the U.S., rationed items included meats, butter, sugar, fats, oils, coffee, canned foods, shoes and gasoline.

The U.S. had vast resources on such basic materials as chemicals, coal, copper, cotton, iron, lead, nitrates, petroleum and wool but lacked raw materials such as quinine, rubber, silk and tin, aluminum, cork, graphite, optical glass and platinum.

Patriotic citizens began ransacking their attics for every type of scrap. Groups and clubs began all types of 'drives'. For example, the Boy Scouts salvaged so much waste paper (over 150,000 tons) by 1942, that paper mills were glutted and had to temporarily call off the paper drive.

U.S. citizens were not used to making any type of sacrifice, so rationing came as a shock. Suddenly there were all types of little books and stamps that limited gas or certain types of food. Plus unending posters of 'instructions'.

Gas rationing was the most unpopular. The average driver received an 'A' card that limited him to 3 gallons of gas a WEEK.

Food was rationed by a point system that drove housewives and grocers crazy.

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