The early 1940s were dominated by World War II and its impact on the United States as well as many countries throughout the world.
The U.S. experienced a cultural shift when many jobs once occupied by men were left vacant as they left for war. As a result women in great numbers left the home and entered the workplace.
During a few of the war years, automobile production ceased and many Americans experienced hardships that included rationing of gasoline and food supplies.
Gasoline, meat, and clothing were tightly rationed. Most families were allocated 3 US gallons (11 l; 2.5 imp gal) of gasoline a week, which sharply curtailed driving for any purpose. Production of most durable goods, like new housing, vacuum cleaners, and kitchen appliances, was banned until the war ended.
Take a look at these amazing photos from The Library of Congress to see what stores of the U.S. looked like in the early 1940s.
Louisiana. A cross roads store, bar, “juke joint,” and gas station in the cotton plantation area, Melrose
Louisiana. A store with live fish for sale, vicinity of Natchitoches
Idaho. On main street of Cascade
Kentucky. Farmers and townspeople in town on Court day, Campton. The sign on awning “Tyler’s Place” and sign on window “Tyler’s Store Dry Goods”
Massachusetts. Quincy Market at the street corner, Brockton