Cumberland Goes To War
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Cumberland Goes To War is a community heritage project coordinated and promoted by Allegany County Tourism in partnership with the Canal Place Preservation and Development Authority, the City of Cumberland, Western Maryland Scenic Railroad and the Allegany County Chamber of Commerce. Funded in part by the Maryland Heritage Areas Authority, the Allegany County Commissioners and the City of Cumberland. More information about the project and/or the images in the archive can be obtained by emailing

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[ Frank Dilger ]
Morrissey Discharge

[ John "Red" Morrissey ]
Invasion of Holland

[ Paul F Clites ]
3rd Infantry Divisio

[ WWII Insignia Patches ]
James Root

[ James Root ]

[ Charles William Armstrong ]
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Norman Crowe
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Registered: August 2008
Posts: 1,721
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Rationing was a system that provided everyone with the same amount of scarce goods. The system was designed to keep prices low and to make sure people had what they needed.

Some things were scarce because they were needed to supply the military - gas, oil, metal, meat and other foods, for example. Some things were scarce because they normally were imported from countries with whom we were at war or because they had to be brought in by ship from foreign places. Sugar and coffee were very scarce. They didn't make Coca-Cola during the war because sugar was so scarce. Other things disappeared entirely as well, like silk stockings. New things were made of wood instead of metal or rubber.

But rationing made sure no one went hungry. Everyone was given a ration book. Each book had a bunch of ration stamps in it. Grocers and other business people would post what your ration stamps could buy that week. It was up to you to decide how to spend your stamps.

Ration books became a way of life for everyone at home during World War II. Ration books were about the size of a postcard. Each one was filled with ration stamps. Ration stamps themselves were very small. It would take two ration stamps to be about the same size as a modern 32 cents postage stamp. Although tiny in size, ration stamps packed a whollop. You had to have ration stamps to buy things at the store. It still cost money, but you couldn't even buy it unless you had stamps.1

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