12 Great Posters From When Turning Down the Thermostat and Preparing for Winter Was a Patriotic Act

All Fuel Is Scarce

credit: Solid Fuels Administration

Turning down the thermostat and being careful with fuel use is a good idea any time, but in World War II it was a matter of life and death. Most of the recommendations in this poster still make sense: Winterizing your home, including insulating walls and ceilings, installing storm doors and windows and weatherstripping. Checking and cleaning your furnace can save a lot of energy, too. But the Order Fuel At Once recommendation needs a bit of explanation. Next:Don't Shiver

Don't Shiver Next Winter

credit: Solid Fuels Administration

Most of America's homes were heated with coal at the time, while trains and ships used coal as fuel. Coal was used in industrial processes like making coke for steel. In 1943 President Roosevelt established the Solid Fuels Administration for War to " establish basic policies and formulate plans and programs to assure for the prosecution of the war the conservation and most effective development and utilization of solid fuels in the United States". The administrator's job was to " Prepare estimates as to the quantities of solid fuels which the Administrator deems necessary to meet direct and indirect military, and essential industrial and civilian requirements." Next: Order Coal Now!

credit: Solid Fuels Administration

They had to ensure that people didn't freeze, but they had to place their order at the beginning of the season so that all the other coal could be diverted to military uses. Next: Too Little, too late

credit: Solid Fuels Administration

If you didn't plan ahead, you froze. Next: A message to tenants

credit: Calling all tenants!

Tenants could play, too. We often hear complaints from people who rent about what they can do to go green; these suggestions still apply. Next:Fuel Fights

credit: Solid Fuels Administration

The other side of the equation is to reduce demand for fuel; here is where the posters have such relevance still. All good advice here: turn down the thermostat, draw window shades, shut off heat when you don't need it. Next:Dress Warmly

credit: Dress Warmly!

Of course, the best way to keep warm is to put on long undies. Next: Serve and Conserve

credit: serve and conserve

It wasn't just fuel, it was a culture of conservation. Turn off lights. Repair leaky faucets. Next: Make it do

credit: Make it do

This is so unAmerican, this idea of making it do, buying less, fixing what you have. Next: Don't buy it!

credit: McGill Collection

Still very good advice in hard times. Next: Stop inflation

credit: prevent inflation

This one is almost bizarre, Where was John Maynard Keynes when you needed him?

When a lot of people want the same thing its price goes up. Americans have more money than there are things to buy with it. So every big or little thing that you buy- that you can do without- cuts supplies and bids prices up on what is left. Rising prices spell inflation, and every inflation has been followed by a cruel and bitter depression, men out of work, homes lost, families suffering.We don't want inflation; we don't want another depression.
So don't buy anything that you can do without. Next: Do with less

Do with less

credit: American Legion Collection

Now we fight our wars on credit and nobody has to go without anything. But in difficult times, doing with less makes sense, saves money and reduces our carbon footprints. Still good advice.