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How to Bake by the Ration Book: Swans Down Wartime Recipes: Cakes, Quick Breads, Desserts, by General Foods, 1943

Rationing during World War II meant common baking ingredients were not always available. This cookbook from the manufacturer of Swans Down Cake Flour provided recipes for baked goods made without rationed ingredients such as eggs, shortening, or sugar.

Rare Book and Special Collections Division, Library of Congress

How to Bake by the Ration Book How to Bake by the Ration Book

Controlling Wartime Prices

During both world wars, domestic prices rose rapidly as the government diverted goods to the war effort and federal spending soared. Early in World War II Congress passed legislation authorizing the government to regulate and set prices that were “fair and equitable.” By rationing many consumer goods and employing price controls, Congress helped stabilize the economy by keeping rampant inflation at bay and the cost of living reasonable.

It will prevent excessively high prices, gross profiteering . . . and by stopping the upward curve of prices [it] will be a potent factor in preventing after-war collapse.

Senator Prentiss M. Brown of Michigan, The New York Times, January 28, 1942