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Printed sample of basic “A” mileage ration coupons issued by the Office of Price Administration, Globe Ticket Company, ca. 1942

The federal government rationed gasoline throughout World War II, not so much to save fuel as to conserve tires and rubber supplies. A nationwide speed limit of 35 miles per hour was also enforced to save wear on tires. The "A" sticker shown here entitled a motorist to three to four gallons of gasoline per week.

Records of the U.S. Government Printing Office, National Archives and Records Administration

Printed sample of basic A mileage ration coupons

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