During World War II, shortages were the norm. Folks learned to take care of what they had, or go without.

Metals became scarce as they were needed for military purposes. Building Jeeps, planes, ships, helmets and guns took precedent over everything else.

That made utensils, razor blades, wristwatches, zippers, garden tools and steel wool hard to find. For a short time, canned goods were rationed, and sliced bread was banned to conserve metal blades. And a project to erect street signs in Twin Falls stalled for lack of materials.

Even after the war was over, shortages continued.

The Twin Falls City Council voted in 1946 to put street signs at every intersection, but the project was delayed for nearly two years until materials became available.

Meanwhile, the Twin Falls Grange voted in February 1948 to put street signs at country crossroads. Using boards instead of metal, grange members constructed large signs that not only told the name of the road, but also included the names of people who lived along the road. A grange-built road sign on Blue Lakes Boulevard South and 3400 North pointed east toward the homes of F.P. Dicus, F.J. Nielson, M.L. Perkins, P.E. Miller, I.T. Creed, the Allen Dairy and the Mountain Rock Grange. The sign called 3400 North the “last airport road.”

The 1,068 street signs ordered by Twin Falls arrived in October 1948, the Times-News reported. The signs were mounted on 10-foot steel poles set into the ground. Signs would be installed one per intersection, except at busier intersections where two signs were necessary.

Mychel Matthews reports on rural issues for the Times-News. The Hidden History feature runs every Thursday on Magicvalley.com. If you have a question about something that may have historical significance, email Matthews at mmatthews@ magicvalley.com.