erushi (erushi) wrote in little_details,

food and rationing in WWI in the US, and ghost-hunting/parapsychology in the 1910s

I've recently been trying to iron out all the small nitty gritty (background) details for a fic set in the US during WWI (albeit with some WWII-ish elements, because it's to be this alt-history steampunk thing), all in the name of authenticity. Unfortunately, I just don't seem to be able to find enough information about the following two topics, so I'd greatly appreciate help:

Food and Rationing

1) How extensive was food rationing in the US during WWI? Was there an actual system in place, complete with coupons and such like, and if so, what foodstuffs were typically rationed? Or was it more a voluntary effort?

Unfortunately, most of the stuff I've found deal with the WWII rationing system. The only relevant things I managed to glean about WWI are:
a) that there was some conserving, sugar and flour being mentioned; no mention was made however of a system except for
b) a poster encouraging people to save sugar; and
c) Georgia was, apparently, very enthusiastic about the war effort - so I'm going to assume that some states may have implemented some (un)official rationing/conservation scheme.

If other non-foodstuffs were rationed during WWI too, I'd love to hear about them.

2) What would a typical breakfast/lunch/dinner have been during WWI, especially if there were rationing about?

Ghost-hunting and Parapsychology in the 1910s

3) What scientific methods/techniques/equipment would have been used? What would have been tested, and how?

Thus far, most of the information I'm able to find appears to be closer to the spiritualist side than the scientific side of things, which frustrates me to no end. I keep coming across statements along the lines of early parapsychologists investigating supernatural phenomena (materialisations, moving objects in seances etc) but nothing which tells me how (save perhaps the testing of ESP by using cards, but I'm more interested in the investigation of hauntings than that of ESP). I've looked a little at some of the typical modern (and possibly quite amateur-ish) ghost-hunting stuff, but I'm not sure how much would also have been done/used in the past too.

Tags: 1910-1919, usa: food and drink, usa: history (misc), ~woo-woo, ~world war i

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