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Second Avalon

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Rubber Rat Rationing

Clothes rationing was introduced by the British Government in June 1941. It was essential raw materials were not wasted as factories were utilised for the production of weapons. The Make Do and Mend campaign was launched by the Board of Trade in 1942. This poster was illustrated by Donia Nachsen to encourage people to repair their clothes and make use with clothing they already had.

Rubber rat rationing


In 1939 Britain was reliant on cheap imports of food from overseas, and only 30 per cent of food was home-produced. The introduction of rationing by the Ministry of Food was therefore inevitable in January 1940 and families were encouraged to grow their own. By 1943 there were over 1.4 million allotments, producing over a million tons of vegetables that year.

Grab a pair rubber gloves and disinfectant and meet us on the next page for some important suggestions about safe cleanup procedures. We know you want to get your home sparkling again fast, but it's important to use some precautions while you're doing it.

Don't try to clean mouse-tainted areas with your bare hands. Even though a surface may look relatively clean, it probably isn't. Mice urinate when they become frightened. They may also walk through urine-saturated areas occasionally, tracking germs on the bottoms of their tiny, dirty little feet. Before you tackle cleanup, invest in a pair of latex, vinyl or rubber gloves, and wear gloves throughout the cleaning process. To avoid contaminating other surfaces, spray gloves with disinfectant periodically, especially before handling clean surfaces like doorknobs and cabinet pulls.

I remember rationing. It did not seem to be a great hardship, though I think my Mother was exceptionally talented at stretching food and making do. She and dad planted a "Victory Garden" on a plot about a mile from our house. Mother, and sometimes dad, would take the bus down to the garden, hoes and rakes in hand, and spend a few hours tending the garden. In the fall they would take the car to bring home the harvest. From that garden Mom canned hundreds of quarts of vegetables. She also baked all of our bread, made jams and jellies from any fruit that could be picked. We got eggs and some meat from the farm, so we fared well and the rationing of sugar, meats and some other items did not greatly change our fare. Meals were simple and we mostly ate all three meals at home together at the family table. My dad would say the "Come Lord Jesus" table prayer before every meal. When in school we kids would usually walk home for lunch which might be cornbread and syrup, Spanish Rice, a homemade soup, biscuits and bacon gravy, and some leftovers from dinner the night before. Everything was used, and very little was thrown out.

I think rationing was harder on households that did not grow any of their own food. Ration cards were issued to each family member. These were coupons that were torn out upon purchase of a rationed item. If someone were to come and stay for any length of time, they would be expected to bring their ration book. Some items, particulary meats, could be bought on the black market. That was under-the-counter kind of selling that would not require coupons, but which would be more expensive. Meats particularly were available "black market." This was probably more true in agricultural areas where food from the farms could be slipped into the city to a profiteer without much danger of reprisals. Housewives saved grease and turned it in at the butcher shops. Papers and old rags were saved and turned in to be reprocessed. Old metal pots and pans were to be turned in and the metal melted down to be reused. As I write this, I realize it was an early form of recycling. My Girls Reserve Group - something like the Girls Scouts, only sponsored by the local YMCA - developed a project where members would collect grease, paper, metals, clothing, etc. and turn it in to the collection centers. I had a big box on the front porch where I collected those items. It was messy.

I recall that gas rationing did impose hardship. I do not remember how gas coupons were distributed, but I do remember that we had one car and there were already four drivers ahead of me so there was no way that I was going to get to drive a car during those years. Not only was gas rationed, but also new tires were absolutely unavailable for persons not engaged in farming or other necessary occupations. I've heard stories of people driving on smooth, bald tires that must have been unsafe. Tires then had inner tubes and flats were common even in the best of conditions, but during the war, it was common to see cars on the side of the road, with the car up on a jack, and one bald flat tire being changed to another bald tire that had been patched enough so that it held air. A brother-in-law of mine tells of driving from Marquette, Michigan to Chicago, and preparing for the trip by gathering a trunk full of used tires. He did have several flats on that trip. Most trunks had the supplies to "fix a flat" and the speed in which it could be done was a matter of pride.

We walked everywhere. We walked and walked and walked: to school, to church, to the store, downtown, to the movies, to our friends, to the parks - and when we didn't know what else to do, we went for a walk. It was both utilitarian and social. We walked so much that we wore out the soles of our shoes and the heels ran down. If the shoes were still good, we bought a set of rubber soles that were glued on to the bottoms of the shoes, and we could get a few more months of wear. The tips of these glued-on soles would come loose after awhile and they would flap when we walked. That was embarrassing and I remember taking a thumbtack and trying to tack down the loose end. To save the heels, we sometimes nailed on metal tabs on the edge, and that would make a metallic sound as we walked. As we walked, we would create a rhythm.

Storage: After the specimens have been injected or slit, tagged, and fixed, they should be put directly into preservative. If they are to be transferred later to plastic bags for temporary storage or to be shipped they should first be allowed to remain completely immersed in preservative for at least 48 hours if formalin is used, or a week if alcohol is used. The longer they are allowed to stay in preservative, the better. They should be loose and completely covered with plenty of liquid. Specimens which have been hardened in trays should also be allowed to soak in preservative for a day or two before being shipped or placed in plastic bags for storage. If space is no problem, preserved specimens are best kept in glass containers. Bail-top jars with a glass top and rubber gasket are best. Fruit jars with a metal screwtop lid may be used but should be carefully watched for rust and evaporation. Glass jars with polyethylene lids and liners are more commonly used in collections, since the lids form a tight seal and are easier to obtain than the traditional bail-top jars. Metal containers should be used only for temporary storage unless coated on the inside with paraffin, "Bakvar", or some other rustproof material.

The strip should then be rolled loosely with the specimens. Put the roll in a plastic bag and add enough preservative to soak the cloth and have a little free liquid in the bottom. Twist the open end of the bag and wrap it tightly with a rubber band. Many museums use heat-sealed rolls of wide polytehylene tubing, which allows bags in any size with heat-sealed seams. This is an efficient way to handle large numbers of specimens for shipping. A number of such bags may be stored in a metal can, but care should be taken to put bags with large, heavy specimens on the bottom.

Was at Long Binh in 67. Served as a dog handler patrolling the ammunitions dump, the largest in the world at the time. The post, back then, was very rugged, with wood and tent structures.The kennels were on a tree lined rubber plantation.

I arrived at Long Binh in Oct. 1966. We landed from the USNS Upshure at Vung Tau then created a base camp at the very western perimeter of Long Binh. Our company was the 563rd CS Heavy Material, 277th Battalion, 1st Log. Command. We made camp in a former rubber plantation and transported supplies from Saigon to Area 208 located at the very east end of Long Binh near the village of Ho Nai. Most of the later development of the base had not been built yet. We helped locals at Ho Nai and supported an orphanage in Ho Nai run by Nuns. I have photos, stories etc to share if needed.

Arrived 1971 thru deactivation, then sent to the 3rd 187th in PhuBai. 23rd then 7th 8th arty FSB happy, 2 8in, 2 175s, duster and quads for support. Tay Ninh province, 100 feet inside of Cambodia. Mt Nui Ba Den in the background. Duties were whatever was required to assist 24/7. I was a utility player, Jack of all duties, master of none. Rode convoys through rubber plantation, and at times stopped along the way to pick up the weeds as needed, and also supplies in Tay Ninh to take back to the FSB. Worked with the Sensor Placement and assisted Skip with search Light duties (that was fun). Captain Spears stands out. Russ the crazy man and a lake named after LT Brady. New areas of spraying identified for Agent Orange. Area of Dar-Prek Plantation 1969 Northern Tay Ninh . Stay covid free, many Veteran dead because the staff in Nursing homes werent tested until 7/3/20 shame on leadership.

I left Long Binh on 7-27-67 and there were still hundreds of rubber trees standing tall in our compound. Someone must have dumped a ton of heavy duty, new and improved Agent Orange on Long binh to kill all them trees and birds.

Frederick, I was in Long Binh 1966. I lived in a field tent that was located in a rubber tree plantation, 624 S&S Co. You probably wired our hooch that was located near the entrance off of Hwy 1. The big generators were located behind our tent.

Nick Giantis, I was with the 624th S&S Company Long Binh in 1966-1967, probably around the same time you were there. I worked at the ration breakdown office where we issued out the food and supplies. I remember seeing the fuel tankers driving in the area. We were located in a rubber tree plantation just off highway 1. I was also there for the massive ammo dump blast in October 1966. Like you, I was blown off of my chair and slammed to the floor and now I have hearing loss in my left ear. The dump was just a short distance down the road from our unit. I pulled guard duty at the dump for the next three nights and some of that ammo was still blowing up for days. I heard that the blast shook buildings in Saigon 15 miles away.


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