Resources for certain foods and consumer goods were in short supply during the war. The government rationed some of these items to deal with the shortages. A ration system allows each person to purchase rationed foods, such as red meat. From March 1943 until the end of the war every family in the US had ration books like these to purchase rationed foods, such as meat, canned goods, and dry goods such as sugar. Each family member received 80 ration points at the beginning of each month. If this was exceeded before the end of the month then the family had to go without certain items until the new ration books were issued. Gas, tires, shoes and certain clothes were also rationed. Other goods, like coffee, were hard to find even when taken off the ration list. South Carolinians were continually reminded that their sacrifices at home would help to win the war abroad. The ration book seen here belonged to Mary Elizabeth Newton, a Charleston native, who worked for naval intelligence in that city through most of the war.

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