Exhibition card and shopping list from World War Two ©
Shopping is an everyday routine - and one that takes a central role in contemporary society. The choice of what we eat, wear and own is intimately tied to our own identities; the wherewithal to buy, a driving force of society. As shopping was subjected during World War Two to the controls and restrictions of rationing and supply, shoppers and shopkeeper negotiated the balance between national needs and individual freedoms, between ration coupons and personal comforts. Close monitoring both by authorities and the local community drove this under the counter or behind closed doors, well away from the very public queue.
This image is number 3 in a set of exhibition cards produced in 1942. ‘Give me a child at six’ sought to explained and undermine the Nazi policy indoctrination of the young and was one of many produced and distributed by the Ministry of Information for public display. On the reverse, written in pencil, are the week’s under-the-counter specials.
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