partners exhibit heading

Women at Home and in the Community Image
Women at Home and in the Community

View more photographs relating to rationing




Recycling was a patriotic duty. Metals were a primary target of recycling drives. Waste paper was collected to make fuses and bones were processed into explosives. Lard replaced butter as women adapted recipes to deal with shortages of sugar and dairy products.

Car bumpers were contributed in scrap drives and children collected scrap items like paper to reuse.

car bumpers were contributed in scrap drives Children participating in scrap paper drives
Poster about canning food

The focus on feeding the military and civilian populations led to development of nutrition standards and public education programs. Efforts were so successful that those in the military enjoyed better food than before the war while the civilian population was able to adequately feed the nation and large parts of the world.

Cheese promoted as a "Victory Food Special"

“This is a challenge to all the American people—but to none of them more directly than to its women. Women must mobilize on the food front—because as consumers and homemaker they hold the key position on this sector of national defense. Theirs is the job of translating our knowledge of how food makes health into three good meals a day for their families.” 

Right, Navy nurse and dietitian proves to be of exceptional value on overseas duty. Click on the image for larger view.

Dietican article about women in the SouthPacific


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 Photo Credits (L to R): #1: National Archives, #2: Library of Congress, #3: National Museum of American History,
Smithsonian Institute, #4: Library of Congress
, #5: The Women's Memorial

(c) Copyright National Women's History Museum 2007