April 1944 Radio-Craft
Wax nostalgic about and learn from the history of early electronics.
See articles from Radio-Craft,
published 1929 - 1953. All copyrights are hereby acknowledged.
"Use it up... Wear it out... Make
it do... Or do without." - what a great slogan! It was coined by the War Advertising
Council during World War II to promote the dual need to conserve scarce resources
and to help keep prices down by not generating excess demand. Most of us have seen
videos or read articles about neighborhood materials collection efforts to round
up old tires, scrap metal, glass, tools, electronics equipment, cloth and clothing,
and many other items that could be recycled for use directly in the war effort.
Melanie and I pretty much live by that philosophy. We keep purchases to a minimum
(except for a few toys), and keep clothes, tools, furniture, etc., until they cannot
be repaired anymore, and buy used where practical. No we are not hoarders. Everything we own will fit in a single
U-Haul truck, and believe me, after having moved more than a dozen times in 30 years,
we know how much stuff we own. Our house is only 920 ft2 with a 1−car garage
and an unfinished basement.
War Advertising Council Slogan
Use it up... Wear it out... Make it do...
Or do without
The fight on the doorstep
This war can't he won on battlefields alone. One of the most critical campaigns
of all must be waged right on the doorstep of every family in America.
This is the fight against higher prices and higher wages.
It's a fight that must be won ... or victories on battlefields will be meaningless.
It's like this. In America this year, our total income after taxes will be about
133 billion dollars. But there'll be only about 93 billion dollars' worth of goods
to spend it on. If we all start trying to buy as much as we can, prices will shoot
As prices rise, people will ask for - and, in many cases, get - higher wages.
That will put up the cost of manufacturing, so up will go prices again. Then we'll
need another pay raise. If we get it, prices rise again. It's a vicious circle.
The Government has done a lot to help keep prices down. It has put ceilings on
food and rent ... has rationed scarce articles. But the Government can't do it all
It needs your help!
Your part in this fight won't be easy. It will mean foregoing luxuries, perhaps
doing without a few necessities. Tough? Maybe ... but don't say that where the veterans
of Italy and New Britain can hear you!
You want to do your part, of course. So do we all ... farmers, laborers, white-collar
workers, business .executives. And the way to do your part right now is to observe
the following seven rules for Victory and a prosperous peace ...
1. Buy only what you need. And before you buy anything, remember that patriotic
little jingle: "Use it up. Wear it out. Make it do or do without."
2. Keep your own prices down! If you: sell goods, or your own time and labor,
don't ask for more money than you absolutely must! No matter who tries to talk you
into asking more ... don't listen!
3. No matter how badly you need something ... never pay more than the posted
ceiling price! Don't buy rationed goods without giving up the required coupons.
If you do, you're helping the Black Market gang - hurting yourself!
4. Pay your taxes cheerfully! Taxes are the cheapest way to pay for a war! The
more taxes you pay now - when you have some extra money - the less taxes you'll
pay later on!
5. Payoff old debts. Don't make any new ones! Get, and stay, square with the
6. Start a savings account. Make regular deposits, often! Buy life insurance.
Keep your premiums paid up.
7. Buy War Bonds ... regularly and often! And hold on to them! Don't just buy
them with spare cash you can easily do without. Invest every dime and dollar you
don't actually need ... even if it hurts to give those dimes and dollars up!
Help Us Keep Prices Down
Use it Up ... Wear it out.
Make it do ... Or do without.
A United States War message prepared by the War Advertising Council; approved
by the Office of War Information; and contributed by the Magazine Publishers of
Posted November 17, 2023
(updated from original
post on 4/25/2017)