It was definitely rationed — I’ve got other ads from 1943 that mention rationing specifically. Don’t know the thinking behind this advertising unless it was to encourage buyers to patronize U&I when they could buy sugar, or maybe as a favor to continue helping support the church magazines with advertising.
Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — June 12, 2012 @ 10:57 am
There was extra sugar sold in the summers for home canning and preserving–apparently one had to apply for it, sending one’s ration book and an application form which was published in the newspapers. Here’s one explanation of how it worked:
Sugar rationing created an additional concern for women who canned. They could receive one pound of sugar for each four quarts of fruit they canned and one pound per family member each year for use in making jams and jellies. Women had to complete an application form in order to receive the additional quantities. They had to state the number of quarts they canned in 1941, the number of quarts on hand, and the number of quarts to be canned during the application period.
So, it appears that the U&I copywriter was a little loose in his use of the term “unrationed”–the sugar was still rationed, but not under the same strict limitations that applied to sugar otherwise.
Shipping tonnage was a constant concern of war planners. Since the war was fought overseas, everything had to be shipped–men, machinery, materiel, food, etc. In addition, the U.S. provided huge amounts of aid to the Soviet Union and the United Kingdom. So there wasn’t surplus shipping available to transport cane sugar to the U.S. from Hawaii or the Caribbean. Since beet sugar could be delivered without use of that scarce shipping, it made a big difference in keeping Americans sweet. Just imagine how things would have been different if high fructose corn syrup had been readily available back then.