Skip to main content

tv   WWII Clothes Rationing Fashion Innovations  CSPAN  August 11, 2019 1:14pm-1:51pm EDT

1:14 pm
on the communicators -- >> people, to me and say, sir, i can't get you and i can't follow you. they make it impossible. these are people who are good at what they do. they say they make it absolutely impossible. >> we will talk about the recent presidential social media summit where president trump discussed byial media censorship b social media and what should be done about it. cans consumers, we certainly demand that if we are going to be on that platform that we expect they will respect our ability to communicate. if we don't like it, we can quit. say socialrd to conservativesst when prager university is getting millions of dollars now for what they put out.
1:15 pm
next, on american history tv, virginia high school teachers becky morrison and irene winchester given illustrated talk about world war ii and clothes rationing. they explored government restrictions on styles and colors, and its impact on innovations in fashion such as cork wedge heels, shorter hemlines, and glow in the dark buttons. friends of the national world war ii memorial hosted this talk as a part of their annual teacher's conference. invitee are excited to becky morrison and irene fashioner talk about rationing during world war ii. another teacher from her school. welcoming themin
1:16 pm
up for their presentation. [applause] she stole my line because i was going to say, this is probably the best teacher conference you can ever go to. that is why i brought irene. this is my third year. i want you guys to go back to your school and encourage all of your teacher friends to come because this is such a valuable conference. thank you friends of the world war ii memorial for inviting me back. irene and i are going to talk .bout fashion on the ration nothe united states, we did ration clothing as much as the british did, but we had some severe restrictions on rationing. one of the things you can see from the powerpoint is 50% of japan's exports are fabric and silk. of that comes to
1:17 pm
the united states. they were our only source of soap. you can imagine how pearl harbor is going to impact silk -- our only source of silk here you can imagine how pearl harbor is impact let five was issued where most of your restrictions -- order 85 , let five, was issued where most of your restrictions come from. it was to reduce domestic fabric -- production by 15%. imagine not being able to go to the mall and buy whatever they want. also when we get the shoes, the kids lose their mind. son, shoes teenage are a big deal. that will come in a little bit
1:18 pm
later. manufacturersthe for the black market stuff -- i don't that there was a lot of that, there were heavy fines for manufacturers that did not follow the rules. states, in the united there were dress restrictions. this is funny because in every word you see different innovations, food, fashion. hemlines get shorter. you actually have angles now and maybe even knees. ladies hemlines came up a little bit. willashion -- and irene talk more about utility fashion -- it is really important for women, even during world war ii, that they look good but they are trying to do it in a way that is limiting the amount of material they are using. so you can see 72 inches for dresses, 25 inches for skirts.
1:19 pm
pants had to be tapered. hems, and things you can't have at all. cold -- a code that has the w-2 on it. all bannedhoods were as luxuries. in 1943, because of leather and rubber shortages and those supplies going to the war effort, everybody got three coupons for a year for shoes. that might sound like a lot, but think about how many pairs of shoes you might buy a year or from any pairs of shoes your teenager might buy in a year and that hits home. if you lost your shoes in a flood or fire, you can get extra. if you are a mailman or a police officer, you could get extra coupons for your shoes.
1:20 pm
besides that, you are limited to three. note two toned shoes. were four colors of shoes you can get -- lack, white, brown, and army brown which is more like roundish green. we limiting the number of issues but limiting the style and color of shoes you can get. so ladies, you don't have a different pair of shoes for every outfit. and opa also banned boots taller than 10 inches and also to much high heels. so we can't have the high heels either. this is a drag. had secondhand shoes, he didn't have to ration those and also sears and roebuck will offer you shoes that are non-leather for other coupons. so you could turn in a sugar
1:21 pm
cube onto sears and roebuck and get cork shoes or wedge shoes. we talked about cork the other day. come intoe cork heels fashion because we don't have the leather. cork heels became a big deal and you can see on the flyer there are a couple of cork shoes. ladies, we still need to look good and so we still need to have pantyhose. , they were used for parachute, powder bags. seized the raw silk in 1941 in the united states. it was august 2, 1941, before pearl harbor. ladies, what to do? on the black-market you probably could pirate stockings because they went from $1.25 to more
1:22 pm
than $10 a pair. increase in the price of a stockings. ladies came up with very innovative ways to make it look like they still were wearing nylons. then't know if you know in 1930's and 1940's, nylons for women lots of times had a seam up the back. legs withpaint your gravy. they even came up with devices that you could put on your leg and draw with paint up the back of your legs so it would stay straight to make it look like from far away that you actually had nylons with a fashionable seem up the back.
1:23 pm
hose.ere called glamour i don't know if it gets hot and the gravy melts -- i don't know. it doesn't sound good. they set up -- the government set up jobs to collect damaged stockings and they would fix them or recycle them for the war effort. .ow men, no more vests no more double-breasted suits, only single breasted suits. the dark black fancy black jacket, they called it the clark gable, that was band. ned. no three-piece suits. no vests. your lapel size and cuff size and cuffs on pants are restricted as well. very standardcame and not flashy at all. it was not adriatic to where it
1:24 pm
flashed -- patriotic to where flashy close. ar flashy clothing. you know what a zoot suit is with a chain and long coats and big lapels -- they were seen as unpatriotic. so also, there was black-market suit, not bootleg liquor but bootleg zoot suit. there are people who made zoot suits underground. you know about zoot suit riots in 1943 and the american sailors thought it was unpatriotic that these guys ran around in zoot suits. if you never studied the zoot suit riots, you should look it up. it is really horrible that these boys were taken -- and i was reading that they even went to a theater where a movie was
1:25 pm
playing and they stripped the mexican american boys' suits suits and these boys ended up having to run around naked. very many not american sailors arrested for the zoot suit riots that there were a lot of mexican american boys that were arrested. it is something to research if you like. it is very interesting. funny thing -- in los angeles today, it is still illegal to her zoot suits. i don't think you're going to get in trouble for that, but it is still a lot law on the books. irene is going to talk about the u.k. and how they really were rationed with the coupons like karen talked about. in the u.k.,ter: things are very different because of the size and what something called "make
1:26 pm
do and mend" in 1941. they didn't tell anyone it was coming and waited for a bank holiday to announce it. it was a huge surprise for civilians. it does last until march 1949. we tend to think of it were to that obviously ends in 1945, but great britain still struggled for a while after the fact. here are some coupon books you have for clothing. they will let you by different items of clothing. we will show acute video clip about how you can trade in color coupons for other items as well. rationing,tarted the each adult was giving -- given 66 coupons to use however you saw fit. there were significant cutbacks in 1945 through 46, adults restricted to 24 coupons per
1:27 pm
year. that really limited what you could purchase. there were some exceptions. if you are a manual worker, you would need far more, so you got far more. a civilian uniform where got more. got morel performers from the around boosting diplomats. theesearched and we knew royal family rationed food, but clothing, we are assuming they fit into the diplomat category because there is not a lot of evidence they were rationing clothing during this time. new mothers got almost double. weare-duty personnel could however many clothing they could afford. this is a chart of how the coupons could be spent. you can see the most expensive item are going to be the things that use more fabric.
1:28 pm
macintosh, which is a heavy overcoat, raincoats, jackets, blazers -- all of those things are going to cost quite a bit. but also in equal quantity were women's dresses. they were very expensive at 11 coupons and that made things much more difficult for them. they do have different coupon prices for children as well. the most common things that people were spending coupons on work dresses for women at 11. stockings were to coupons. he didn't see quite the increase that we saw in the u.s. prices owing up 800%, were still considered a luxury and we saw a lot of women in the u.k. painting on the lines as well during men's shirt and pants each were eight and women's shoes ran around five coupons and men's shoes at seven. we have a cute video i would like to show you. it was an ad for how to plan your rationing.
1:29 pm
it ran in the 1940's. [video clip] >> the rationing of close, men's trousers were cut down but for women's dresses, the numbers of coupon became a problem. ♪ narrator: this is how it all worked out. ♪ men had to do a bit of fiddling. the same number of bonds, this is what he would get. clickety click. ♪ manager: a girl could with a hat and a blanket or even a vast. ♪
1:30 pm
narrator: but men would be driven to drink for lack of clothes. she wasn't she extravagant? ♪ marvelous. now i can get it for 14 margarine coupons. : and now -- irene winchester: my students love the british humor because it is bizarre. [laughter] irene winchester: it doesn't good job of showing how we came from the over-the-top dresses that would've cost 48 coupons and now we are going to slim down. , kidst comes to the kids
1:31 pm
were also given coupons and the children who fit into what they call the outsize range got 10 extra tickets. that is a nice way of saying the larger children who might have been overweight -- they got a little extra. see schools relaxing on uniforms. they still required students to come in uniforms. inmom needs to plan ahead the suit because it has to fit him for years to come. and it makes things difficult. we see women working on creating innovative ways of exchanging goods. the women's voluntary service set up clothing exchanges. it was like a swap. everyone brought their old stuff and depending on how much of what you brought, and the quality of what you brought, you brought -- got points to spend on other people secondhand goods. this was one way they worked together to try to figure out a way to prevent your poor little
1:32 pm
boy from having his short shorts as they showed here. of clothingationing itself, they had specifications of what kind of restrictions you had on your clothing. coats and jackets could have no more than three pockets. dresses could have two. we see that we are not going to waste metal on buttons. and something that was interesting -- the boys cannot wear long pants or trousers until they turn 13. so we have all the little boys in shorts and that is a lot less fabric and it is still a trend we see. no tail colts, embroidery, braided, lace, all of the extra things are taken away. and for the ladies, on the underwear, nowhere shearing or fancy stitching. we are just getting to the basics. that being said, the way that
1:33 pm
women looked was incredibly important, especially in the u.k.. it was unfashionable to be showy or over-the-top fancy, you had to look good. "duty --n became beauty was a duty." it was your job to look good. , weup is never rationed encouraged all of the ladies to look their best because it was a morale booster for the women. as. was what they viewed it women would ever feel comfortable if they couldn't go out in public with makeup on. the ministry of supply and the u.k. said makeup was as important to women as tobacco is to men. it was really important for them to keep it that way. this is significant what we look .t what is also happening in germany, we see a trend for
1:34 pm
women to be more matronly or motherly. they are not doing a lot of makeup or glamour. on the u.k. side, we said we are going to do totally opposite and have the girls looking great always and we are going to be different and keep that up. women took a lot of pride and effort to look good, even though it is not rationed, makeup is expensive with the luxury tax. a lot of homemade cosmetics come into play. we see beetroot juice being used as lipstick. and boot polish for mascara. we are really inventive in the kind of things we are using to make sure we still look good. on this -- but utility fashion. with all the new restrictions about what clothing can look like, how do we make it look good? great britain was so good about making sure women looked good they commissioned eight designers to create a whole new
1:35 pm
line of utility clothing that would be appealing. some of the fashion is what we think of as iconic 1940's and stephen -- and even some of the early 1950's was paid for by the government to make sure that we were able to buy in, if you will, to this rationing. examples ofe more classic utility fashion that we see in great britain as well as the united states. repurposed thing is something that we see and this is happening at home. i have this piece of fabric, what can i make it into now. these are examples that the international war museum in the u.k. has on display. they have a blanket that they have turned into a cape for a child. once it has gotten tattered, they can trim it down and reuse it. coats are some of the most expensive items as far as coupons go.
1:36 pm
a women skirt suit was made from an old male used suit. this might be something you had at home or picked up at a swap but a lot of women are working to redesign fabric or things they already had. fashion comes into play a lot in the u.k. with the air raids. we have air raid fashion. women would buy brooches to put on the outside of the clothing that you essentially charge all day in the sun and then at night or when air raids were going on when you don't have lights, and have the brooch to see where people are. same thing goes with glow in the dark otten's. sometimes they would be sewn into pajamas but they wore them so that you could see where people are without standing out too much. i have not been, but in england, fabless -- fabulous
1:37 pm
war museum and they had some great things that becky and i couldn't explain so we have another video. [video clip] >> i am a historian in london. we are in the fashion ration exhibition in an area called functional fashion. we have an example of a gas mask handbag. stylish and attractive solution for the essential wartime piece of equipment that all civilians were issued for a respirator because of the much feared prospect of chemical warfare. the handbag has a compartment at the bottom where the respirator fits. in the top, there was space for day-to-day possessions. these were stylish, attractive solutions of how we arrive for gas masks. examples ofother how fashion adapted to wartime dangers. we have an example of an
1:38 pm
all-in-one zip up garment which people could jump into to run to the air raid shelter in. we have examples of luminous buttons which you pinned onto clothing so that you could be seen in the blackouts because of a rise in collisions between pedestrians and cars. at work and at home, the war changed how people dressed. people had it to our practical clothes but they still wanted to look stylish. so all of youer: feel like you have tons of things in your purse, you don't have a gas what a good way to show innovation. at this point, i would like to open up to any questions that you might have. [laughter]
1:39 pm
>> i was curious to know which museum you visited for the fashion? which is the museum for the research. irene winchester: it was the international war museum. >> great presentation. in the midwest in the u.s. especially with grp and the mennonites, where their religious exemptions for clothing? becky morrison: we didn't find anything like that. the exception is the mail carriers and police officers. we did not find anything on religious exemptions. but in the u.s., they are not
1:40 pm
rationed clothing, it is just new clothing can't have those things. does that make sense? >> [indiscernible] irene winchester: those were what you bought for making. it is just what you are purchasing. that is why the manufacturers were getting in trouble because they were making the clothing. that is a good question. resurgence in canning, did we see a resurgence are the.s. are u.k. traditional women's roles of weaving? irene winchester: they do a lot of mending. that was huge. especially with nylons or they tried to repair as much as you could. i didn't find a whole lot of. becky morrison: they talk about
1:41 pm
corsets going by the wayside peered it is extra fabric. and without one, i can breathe. that was one of the things that we noticed that fell away were corsets. [laughter] >> did you look into how much at all this led ration of new materials, stuff like polyesters? the bulk ofster: what they were restricting in the u.s. was wool. that is why your shoes that had cotton and corked work on ration rationed.ked were not the hemlines never went back down. that is one thing you would notice. great presentation.
1:42 pm
did the u.s. ever find another source for silk bardo? irene winchester: no. the follow-up about food. did they just assume that everyone knew how to sew or did you find evidence that women's groups or community groups had courses and things to teach women how to repair the clothing? becky morrison: i didn't find a lot of propaganda to imply this is how you do it. in the u.k. specifically, the women's group that worked together had a lot of meets where they would help each other. irene winchester: i do know from experience i 90 old grandmother in law had a son who was growing at more than three shoes for years rate and she talked about how they did a lot of swapping with other people at the church who had kids or whatever. they would swap close. i know that they said his shoe
1:43 pm
was -- his foot was growing so fast she needed more than three pairs of shoes a year. there was cooperation between church groups and neighborhoods. >> this is more of a comment, and i had previously known that in the late 1940's, christian dior debuted looks with higher hemlines and cinched waist and i had not made the connection between that and wartime rationing. >> i was curious if at this time people maybe would sell clothing they were using. you know how we have secondhand stores. is that at this time or a new type of business people got into? irene winchester: especially the
1:44 pm
shoes aired they were secondhand shoes. i can imagine that they were probably doing the same thing with closing as well. becky morrison: this whole week we have talked about the theme of everyone doing their part. ton down to fashion and the close, if i'm not using this and my child has outgrown it, let me give it to someone who can use it. we do see that. >> any exceptions made for people who lived in colder climates for longer periods of time? irene winchester: not that what but in the u.k., their only exceptions were occupational based. becky morrison: and the boys until you are 13, boys in the u.k. had to wear shorts. it is cold. sorry kids, where long socks.
1:45 pm
>> i wonder if after the war women just went out and shopped as hard as they could when the rationing was over. irene winchester: in the u.k., the rationing goes until 1949. once you get into the 1950's, it does open up quite a bit. let's think becky and irene. [applause] >> and now you're watching american history tv. every weekend beginning saturday at 8 p.m. eastern, we give you 40 hours of unique programming exploring our past. american history tv is only on c-span-3.
1:46 pm
>> this weekend on the presidency, former secret service agents talk about protecting the first family and the challenges they faced. speakers including the man who prevented the 1975 assassination attempt on president euro for. or is a pre--- president gerald ford. here is a preview. >> my position at the time was at his left shoulder, so as he is walking along shaking hands, i am concentrating on his hands and a downward motion because i don't want to have anyone grab too long or take his watch or whatever. crowdking down, under the is a member of the charlie manson family.
1:47 pm
.4 happened to be carrying a 5 strapped to her ankle. she was back in the crowd and as they were shaking hands, suddenly i see a hand come up with something in it. at that time i didn't know it was a weapon. but i stepped in front of the president to stop the hand from coming up because i didn't want him to get hit with whatever it was. aen i hit it, i knew it was gun. ." i yelled out, "gun o so my friends who are with the president, left with the president. [laughter] it was part of the training program. the crowd is screaming and i got a hold of her hand and got the gun. another thing, mr. director, i
1:48 pm
didn't have my vest on. i am thinking i don't know if there is more to this happening but i am not letting her go. theyrowd is screaming and are screaming there is a gun and this girl is screaming. i kept pushing her away. the president is gone with the agent. i dropped her to the ground. some of the agents and police came forward. when the agents from the shift i noticed, i handed him the gun and i cuffed her. once she was cuffed, i turned her over to the agent that was there from the intelligence division and the police and i went back and rejoined the shift. it was fast and furious. in a matter of seconds, then you have a chance to sit back and think about how fast it went down. [applause] >> learn more about secret
1:49 pm
service agents and their challenges sunday at 8:00 p.m. and midnight eastern on "the presidency." you are watching american history tv. monday night on the communicators -- me and say,me up to sir, i can't get you and i can't follow you. they make it impossible. these are people who are really good at what they do and they say they make it impossible. thee will talk about presidential social media summit where he talked about censorship by big tech firms and what should be done about it. consumers, we can certainly demand that as users of facebook and twitter and google that if we are going to be on that platform we expect they will inspect our ability to communicate. we don't like it, we can quit. >> it seems part of a net is
1:50 pm
asian that big tech is a net negative in any way, shape, or form when some like dennis prager is getting a billion views on products and videos he is putting out. communicators" one-day night on c-span2 -- monday night on c-span2. >> this is about world war ii. aboutlot of people know this. my grandfather was a part of it and it is a culmination of getting to know my family history and telling the story about these men who never got recognized that i really wanted to do the project and get the story out there. >> what was the ghost firming? messages fake radio and sonic


1 Favorite

info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on