WWII Cartoons: Hunger Pangs on the Homefront

Food rationing was a standard practice during WWII, but laughs are abundant in these World War II-era toons.


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Any American who lived through World War II can tell stories about rationing sugar, butter, meat, coffee and other foods. During U.S. involvement in the war, civilians registered for books of stamps required to purchase rationed products. Rationing helped to conserve resources for the war effort, and Americans tolerated it with a sense of pride and duty. Citizenship runs short, however, in this WWII cartoon collection. It’s all about wartime food rationing, and these citizens are fed up!

“I’ll engage the maî·tre d’hô·tel in conversation, and you clean out the sugar bowl.”
John Ruge; April 4, 1942



“How’ll you have your coffee, gents? One lump or two?”
April 25, 1942



“You watch where he buries it while I go put some water on to boil.”
Charles Cartwright; May 15, 1943



“When the folks go to bed, we’ll slip out in the kitchen and open a can of peas or something.”
Charles Reamer Keller; June 12, 1943



“Shall we play for money?”
Mischa Richter; July 3, 1943



December 11, 1943



“Why so polite all of a sudden — been hearing peace rumors?”
John Bailey; February 5, 1943



Ross Alexander; December 2, 1944



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  1. I’m looking for the works of a WWII artist/cartoonist. His name was Frank Marz . His grandson lost all his grandpas art work in a house fire. Frank may have been in the army station on the front lines near Germany .

  2. These are all great cartoons too. My two favorites in this group are the first and third. The expression on the wife’s face is wonderful. A (seemingly) high society lady having to raid the fancy restaurant’s sugar bowl? Hmmm. Does she?!

    In the third cartoon I love the expression on the husband’s face with his tongue hanging out, a role reversal of normally what the dog would be doing. His wife looks like she’s on the verge of doing it herself making it all the funnier.

    A good sequel cartoon would be one where they’re both trying to distract the dog closely guarding that bone, to no avail. All three faces will say it all.


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