Norwegian WW II “Søknad” Postal Stationery - Application card for rationing
In Norway there was a shortage of different goods during WW II, even before the occupation by the German troops in April 1940. At first it were items of daily necessity such as sugar, coffee, soap, ...., later clothing, … and with increasing length of occupation bicycles (sykkel) and of course bicycle tires (sykkelgummi) which became scarce. The few available goods had to be rationed. For this purpose, application cards, such as these were issued:
E.M. = Emil Moesture A./S. Oslo (printer). A translation of the Norwegian text could be found in BICYCLE STAMPS No. 1 (Summer 1986), page 22.
The cards were sold at the post office, then filled out and sent to the Office for Rationing (forsyningsnemnda), in the hope of obtaining a permission to buy a bicycle. The surcharge on the "stamp" was used to carry the administrative burden of the "Department of Supply". For saving reasons, a cancellation by the post was not provided, since the cards remained in the Office for Rationing and could not be used further. Despite that, cards stamped earn a premium price.
Since the rationing regulations became increasingly restrictive in the course of the occupation, the application cards had to be adjusted continuously. For the permission to buy a sykkel (bicycle) at least 8 different cards were issued over the period 1941-1945:
Links to card no.: 2, 5, 8, not assigned (RE20639)
For sykkelgummi (bicycle tires) 9 different types are known:
Links to card no.: 1, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8
The assignment of the samples shown in the links above is not always quite as clear. There are probably further variants.
Two extreme scarce printing errors exist: RE20643 with the stamp printed upside down in the lower left corner (see Brofos, page 222) and a sykkel-card with blank back side (presumably RE20638).
In some districts - for example Ringsaker - the cards were still used even after the end of the Second World War. But at that time most archives were destroyed by fire - and the application cards unfortunately too. So feel happy, if you have one in your collection.
You can find more information in the article "WWII Norwegian Postal Stationery for Rationing“ by Frederick A. Brofos, on which the above article is based primarily: ISSN 0739-0025, Volume 24, September 1992, page 218 …
Peter Ibbotson: “Hr. Slokvik’s Bicycle Tyre”, printed in “Stamp Collecting”, Oct. 23 1975; see BICYCLE STAMPS No. 73 (Feb. 2012), page 3 (unfortunately here the original pictures are missing)
The content in the tables above correspond to the information in the "Catalog of Norwegian Postal Stationery“, published by the Oslo Philatelic Club in 1980.
Thanks to my Swedish collector colleague for his support (scans, background information, ...)