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Got brave and opened my sets of K Rations

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So, since acquiring a set of early war K rations (42-43 type by Doughboy Mills and Cracker Jack Inc) I noticed some rust leaking from the edges and after much consideration, to better preserve the contents (and just morbid curiosity) I opened them! Using a fine blade x-acto knife, with my teen daughter video recording the “excavation” we started with breakfast, then supper and then dinner. The photos of the contents speak for themselves. They are generally consistent, especially the accessory packs, but worth noting and making me feel better about opening them for display is that the K-1 type biscuits were gone, leaving only a handful of brownish starch powder all over the insides of the boxes. It was a mess. In fact what I thought was rust leaking was just the remains of the bug-eaten biscuits. The majority of the rest of the contents were in excellent condition. The drink powder was gunked up and the can of ham and eggs had rusted through, but the cheese can and veal can appear entact.

Worth noting: 1. supper did not come with a key 2. All three contained fleet wood cigarettes. 3. Breakfast contained coffee and three domino sugar cubes and dinner did as well but with no coffee. 4. The boxes and inner boxes were remarkably entact. 

I used 2” thick riker cases to display the contents. I wrapped any contents that needed it and cut the foam to better hold the thicker items. 

I plan on wall mounting the riker boxes and doing the same thing with my late war morale K rations and c ration contents in the near future. 

My wife suggested replacing the biscuits for display or using cardboard with a photo of an original biscuit on top in the display. 

It was a lot of fun! 






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  • 3 months later...

Awesome, I can't believe no one has commented on this! What great documentation while scratching the curiosity itch.  I've always heard that the Breakfast K was the most popular with soldiers as it was the only one that contained coffee!   

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Of course some collectors would fill their pants upon the suggestion that one open an unopened box of these.  But as Eaglerunner 88 has said, it's a great opportunity for documentation of what is in these, and by looking at the real contents instead of photos in a book.  Your display looks good, and whatever anyone else says, at least a few of us appreciate your fine display.  As far as why nobody has commented on this thread, I think it's the category it's in (which is actually the proper one).  I posted some nice pictures of an early 20th century barracks chair complete with paper label and stamping in the wood around a year ago, and no one commented on that either.



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  • 3 weeks later...

Thanks for sharing, I have a friend that makes his own K Rations for our reenactments (he even cans his own stuff) so I'm going to share this with him!


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Thanks for sharing! LOVE your displays! I totally agree . . . fun to see it in person, especially when it was leaking anyway. More fun to enjoy them like this, anyway! Very nice!

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Besides it yours to do with as you please. , Now you have to eat in them . Lol

Sent from my moto g(7) play using Tapatalk

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