Second World War: Car Tires and Gasoline Were Rationed

During the Second World War, an Oklahoma family dealt with the rationing of car tires and gasoline.

| Good Old Days

During the second World War, my family and relatives were farmers, living in northern Grant County, Oklahoma. Farmers in this area were basically self-sufficient in regards to food, meat, vegetables and fruit. Car tires were our main concern. 

For several weeks, Mother had kept mentioning to Dad about the condition of the tires on the car. Dad's view on most anything was that if there was farm work that needed to be done, everything else was secondary.

With the attack on Pearl Harbor, she made one last effort to activate him. But as usual, something else needed to be done. He finally got to the service station the day after tire sales were restricted. Consequently, we went through four years of almost-bald tires on the car.

For a farmer such as my dad, gasoline was not too much of a problem. Each vehicle or tractor had its own ration book, and you were supposed to store the gas for each in separate tanks. The Ration Board did selective inspections. One neighbor had only one tank, so he solved this dilemma with two faucets. He took gas for the big truck from the big faucet and gas for the pick-up from the little faucet.

The local joke was that the inspector could tell if you were using tractor gas in your car. All he had to do was take the cap off the tank, and if it was black inside, you were using tractor gas.

Our landlord had an old Model T Ford that used very little gas. He would drive to town and fill up the tank, then when he got home, he would drain the gas into glass jugs. These he would store away for use in case my dad ran short of farm gas. The next day he would repeat the operation until all of his coupons were used up.

mother earth news fair 2018 schedule


Next: October 13-14, 2018
Topeka, KS

Whether you want to learn how to grow and raise your own food, build your own root cellar, or create a green dream home, come out and learn everything you need to know — and then some!