War Production Board
WAR PRODUCTION BOARD
Federal War Production Board (WPB) was an executive branch office in charge of mobilizing the U.S. economy for World War II (1939–1945). Established within the Office of Emergency Management on January 16, 1942, WPB had authority to obtain financing, enter contracts for procurement of industrial materials, and issue directives to private enterprises. With this authority WPB allocated resources between the military and civilian production sectors. Civilian production that was wasteful or unnecessary was stopped, while scarce or valuable goods were rationed. Quotas on consumer purchases were created for a host of commodities. Commercial automobile manufacturing plants were expanded under the WPB's direction, and then converted for the production of armored vehicles, jeeps, and bombers. Although WPB was effective at first, its authority eventually became diluted by other agencies with overlapping power, including the Office of War Mobilization. WPB was officially replaced by the Civilian Production Administration on October 4, 1945.
See also: Office of Emergency Management, Rationing