York Town Square

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Rationing at York’s old city hall: Typical of life with a war on

This is a typical ration book ubiquitous in York County and America during World War II. The books were a common sight at York’s former South Duke Street city hall, put in use for defense purposes. Background posts: The bomb: ‘And yet it stopped the war’,
Columbia-Wrightsville Bridge celebrates quiet birthday and 20 questions and answers to prove your York County WWII smarts

Over at Windows into York, fellow blogger Scott Butcher moves along the discussion about York’s city halls.
In a previous York Town Square post, a reader had asked about where York’s government met in the 1700s… .

That evolved into a discussion of later city halls, including the current West King Street building and its predecessor on South Duke Street. (Scott has a post card photo up over there of the South Duke Street hall.)
As World War II escalated in 1942, the South Duke Street city hall became handy for Civilian Defense purposes. It was empty with the move of city government to West King.
Here’s one moment at the old city hall, according to “In the Thick of the Fight:”
Women and children were standing in line in June 1942 outside the building awaiting extra sugar permits.
“Only a handful of clerks waited on the hundreds of people seeking applications for extra sugar.
“It was canning season – strawberry season, in fact. Government officials in charge of rationing underestimated the demand for sugar in an agricultural area where housewives had long preserved fruit and vegetables for winter use.
“The same clerks waiting on the sugar seekers also were assigned to handle automobile tires, bicycles, typewriters, gasoline and other rationed items. This was typical of life with a war on.”