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Rationing Worked


This article appeared in the Dayton Daily News on November 8, 1973
Rationing Worked
     Daytonians recall the federal government’s gasoline rationing during World War II as a trying time, yet a system which worked well then.
     They may get an opportunity with the current energy crisis to see a similar rationing.
     Memories have become foggy during the 30-year lapse, but many people can recall a specific personal experience of the time when gas purchases were authorized by stamps.
     One who has not only the memories, but also the original stamps and application for stamps is Mrs. Leona Snell, 43 E. Hudson St., Ave.
     THERE WERE a lot of people who rode in car pools and no one drove anywhere that wasn’t absolutely necessary,” said Mrs. Snell, a staff worker at the Dayton Senior Citizens center.
     Mrs. Snell said she drove a 1932 Ford at the time and got about 18 miles to a gallon.
     Mrs. Snell said a book of stamps was received on a monthly basis.  These stamps would then be taken by a driver to a gasoline station where they authorized an attendant to sell a given amount of gas.
     “THE ATTENDANT could not accept loose stamps, “ Mrs. Snell said.  “You had to present your book and he had to tear out the stamps himself.”
     Marguerite C. Lyons, 1915 John Glenn Rd., said she used to work two days a week in the office which distributed the stamps locally.
     Mrs. Lyons said there were three gradations of stamps—A, B. and C.  Most of the people received the A allotment, which permitted a minimum amount of travel, she said.
     Mrs. Lyons said she can not recall exactly, but she thinks area residents applied for the amount of gas they thought they would need.  Then a board, composed of local residents, would determine the actual need and assign the specific classification, she said.
     ONE OF THE more fortunate Daytonians was John Sullivan, Jr., now president of the board of the Montgomery county Historical society.
     “Because of my job, I received more stamps than many people and even recall traveling between Dayton and Cincinnati,” Sullivan said.
     Many Daytonians recall hoarding stamps in order to save for “one special trip.”
     “My mother saved stamps for several years to take a trip to Michigan,” Sullivan recalls.  “Finally, she had enough and made the trip, only to find when she got up there that they lifted the program.”