Mobilization for World War I carried the United States government into an unprecedented role in the American economy. Entire industries came under the regulation, if not outright control, of new federal boards and bureaucracies. Although this was a vast departure from American tradition, it was naturally justified by the exigencies of global warfare. Platinum was hardly a well-known commodity, but it was indeed a strategic metal that came into increasing demand as burgeoning military needs overwhelmed consumer uses. The result was that platinum gradually came under federal controls. Domestic supplies were limited, however, and as the war continued, worried federal officials looked abroad for additional sources in case of a prolonged conflict, a turn of events that subtly carried them far beyond the ken of domestic regulation. In this article professors Lael and Killen look in detail at the development of platinum controls. Aside from presenting a case study in the evolving relations between business, government, and international politics, they offer new insights into the philosophical assumptions and managerial skills of those who ostensibly masterminded the American economy during World War I.