What were some of the best items that were invented during World War II?

John Eilermann. The Second World War brought a lot of damage and change to people’s lives. Despite the terror people experienced during this time, this period also pushed great minds to find ways to make life easier.

Image source: Time.com

Photocopying and Xerography

John Eilermann. At the start of the 1940s, physicist Chester Floyd Carlson started developing his electrophotography invention, the technology used for photocopying. Despite facing the last years of the ’30s and beginning of the ’40s in perfecting the technology, the experiments that started in his kitchen became a process that is necessary for many processes up to this day.

Ballpoint pen

John Eilermann. Having ballpoint pens is more convenient than the fountain pens, which smudged and needed time to dry. These new pens were light, easy to use, and dried quickly. While an initial idea for the ballpoint pen started in the 19th century, it was only during the 1930s when Hungarian-Argentine László Bíró built upon the idea. After several tweaks and exhibitions, his invention was patented in 1943 and soon became a commercial success.

Image source: Wikimedia.org

Microwave oven

John Eilermann. American engineer Percy Spencer was the one who developed radar technology for combat. However, he wanted to use the technology for purposes other than for warfare. He saw the potential for creating a microwave oven when he noticed a candy bar melting in front of an active radar set. After seeing this, he continued to develop the idea and used other food items like popcorn kernels. Many experiments later, he came up with a model that used a high-density electromagnetic field generator to an enclosed metal box.


Some of the most popular WW2 sniper rifles

World War II may be one of the darkest moments in history, but there are those who look back fondly at it in appreciation of its valuable lessons as well as the various memorabilia from the era. Today, we feature some popular sniper rifles used in WW2. John F Eilermann Jr.

1) American Springfield 1903A4 with M73 scope

Image source: forgottenweapons.com

Introduced in 1943, the Springfield Model M1904A4 sniper rifle was actually a version modified off the basic M1903A3 Springfield infantry. With its longer barrel, it was the perfect weapon to use for long range, unlike its predecessor which was used more for medium range assaults. This gun was used extensively in the battle of Normandy. John F Eilermann Jr.

2) Soviet Mosin-Nagant Model 1891/30 with PU scope

The Red Army, as the Soviets were known, were well-known to have initiated the sniper battle during the war. The Soviet Mosin-Nagant Model 1891/30 was the rifle that was produced in the greatest number, compared to its counterparts. One legend refers to it as the exact rifle model that a popular German sniper chose to use for the whole duration of the war after he picked it up on the battlefield by accident. John F Eilermann Jr.

Image source: military.wikia.org

3) British Lee Enfield No. 4 MKI (T) with No.32 scope

Standard No. 4 rifles gained a lot of popularity because of their accuracy during factory tests. For better handling, these were modified and outfitted with a wooden cheek piece. Only then was this referred to as the British Lee Enfield No. 4 MKI. Its sight mounts were designed to fit with a No. 32 3.5x telescopic sight, making it one of the most magnified views among rifles of the day. This gun was known as one of the most comfortable guns to use during the war. John F Eilermann Jr.


Rationing in World War II: A quick look

Image source: Reprorations.com

At the onset of World War II, America faced a number of serious challenges, including the general shortage in supplies and resources.  The government deemed it necessary to ration not only food but also gas and clothing during that period.  There was a call for people to conserve on everything because everyone, whether rich or poor, was affected by war and the sacrifices it entailed.

With the rationing program set into motion, the federal government saw the need to control supply and demand.  Some 8,000 rationing boards were created across the nation to administer the restrictions.  The American Woman’s Cook Book, for instance, had a wartime edition that promoted revised recipes and offered advice on dealing with food shortages.

Image source: SmithsonianMag.com     

There were various types of rationing that were implemented, including uniform coupon rationing, which provided equal shares of one commodity to all consumers.  Certificate rationing allowed individuals certain products after an application demonstrated need, such as tires, stoves, cars, and typewriters.  Rubber, on the other hand, was the first non-food item rationed.

A similar situation ensued in the United Kingdom, where many foodstuffs were rationed.  These items included milk, meat, eggs, cheese, and cooking fat.  Ration books were distributed to everyone in Britain, who then registered in a shop of their choice.  After they bought something, the shopkeeper marked their purchase off in the book.

While people generally gave up many material goods, there was also an uptick in employment, where individual efforts evolved into clubs and organizations attending to immediate needs.  Americans sought to maintain supply levels for the troops abroad, and efforts included scrap drives, taking on factory jobs, and donating goods.

John Eilermann lives in Chicago and is mostly fixated on baseball and soccer.  He is also deeply interested in World War II facts and memorabilia.  Learn more on this website.