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Helps For Homemakers Booklet, c. 1943–1945


This World War II–era booklet is one in a series produced by the Kelvinator appliance company as part of a “wartime idea exchange for home economists [known today as a homemaker or stay-at-home parent].”  Kelvinator held a national contest  and published the top 40 prize-winning suggestions in their “Helping the Homemaker Make the Most Out of the Food She Can Get” issue (#3). 

As this image depicts, discussion of the nation’s wartime ration point system was central to these suggestions. In order to save meat ration points, some suggested using rabbit for the meat dish (complete with advice on techniques for cooking older rabbit versus younger rabbit), while others offered tips on stretching sugar rations (including substituting corn syrup or honey for part of the sugar when baking, and cooking with rhubarb) and making “more one-crust, fewer two-crust pies.”    

Citation: A suggested means of saving ration points—using rabbit for the meat dish. From a “Helps for Homemakers” booklet produced by Kelvinator circa 19431945. Jessee Family Papers, Accession 50402, Library of Virginia. 


Social Studies: USII.7, USII.8 USII.9, CE.9 CE.14, VUS.12, VUS.13, GOVT.9 GOVT.16
Art: 4.1, 5.1

Suggested Questions

Current Connections: In addition to the ideas presented here, what are some other ways to save resources and money while providing meals for a family?

Up for Debate: How do you think women of today's generation would feel about a booklet such as this one? Would it be considered helpful? Insulting?

Art Exploration: Design a similar handbook page that you might find today if we were undergoing rationing.


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