Cars and Petrol Rationing in The United States of America during World War 2

Discussion in 'USA' started by CL1, Jan 12, 2022.

  1. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery Patron

    (PDF) Putting the Brakes on ‘Non-Essential’ Travel: 1940s Wartime Mobility, Prosperity, and the US Office of Defense
    The United States Office of Defense Transportation (ODT) existed a short seven and a half years during and immediately after World War II. It had a single mission to accomplish: co-ordinate all domestic transport for the successful prosecution of the war. Within three years of accomplishing its mission the ODT quietly disbanded and was forgotten by the American people. Its low profile and its quiet departure obscure the unprecedented way in which the ODT changed Americans' travel behaviour during the booming war economy years of 1942-45 and the frustration and opposition its policies provoked. This article explores the history of the agency and describes how it frustrated Americans' dreams of mobility just when they regained the means to rekindle their love of the automobile.
    On April 9, 1942, gasoline deliveries were decreased to seventeen Eastern states, but to ensure fairness, rationing was required. On May 15, 1942, 8 million motorists in those seventeen states registered for gas ration cards, and rationing began on the East Coast on July 22, 1942.
    Another serious issue that eventually led to nationwide gasoline shortage was rubber shortage. The United States didn’t have enough rubber for military needs, much less civilian needs. While tires and other rubber items were rationed, the simplest way to reduce wear and tear on tires was to restrict driving.

    Drive Less
    On Dec. 1, 1942, a nationwide Victory speed limit of 35 mph was instituted, since higher speeds removed tread more quickly. Lightweight Victory Bicycles were introduced in March 1942, but were rationed to war workers and certain professionals and only when public transportation wasn’t available – and all other bicycle production ceased. People were encouraged to use public transportation and their own two feet. Commuters were told to “Carry more to win the war,” and to share rides or form car clubs. Employers experimented with staggered shifts to reduce traffic – and therefore, gasoline use. Pleasure driving was banned and the “Vacation at Home” was promoted, not just to save gas and rubber, but due to the strain on the nation’s train system by military transport.
    Fewer Cars
    Car manufacturing stopped on Jan. 1, 1942, and no new automobiles could be purchased after Feb. 22, 1942. A small stock was held in reserve for critical replacements. The auto manufacturers converted their assembly lines to produce jeeps, tanks, and bombers, while the American consumer made do. Car theft became a larger problem than ever. On July 1, 1945, automobile production was allowed again, and the first car rolled off the assembly line on Aug. 30, 1945 – a Hudson Super Six coupe.

    Make It Do - Gasoline Rationing in World War II
    4jonboy and Dave55 like this.
  2. Ramiles

    Ramiles Researching 9th Lancers, 24th L and SRY

    This makes no sense ;-)

    Unless Fred is drinking it... :)

  3. Dave55

    Dave55 Atlanta, USA

    CL1 likes this.
  4. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Old Hickory Recon

    I remember watching that one as wee lad and not understanding the reference.

    I downloaded most all of the WB cartoons off of YT a few years ago, including some that are banned. There are a couple I am missing.
  5. Dave55

    Dave55 Atlanta, USA

    42 Plymouth with A card.

    4jonboy and CL1 like this.

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