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I bought this 1880's meat can years ago at a flea market for $2. The seller apoligized for the food that was still in it. I told him not to worry about it.






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I also have a meat can with a piece of hard tack in it.I got this in a WW1 88th Division group.



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Does it taste as bad as the history books say?


I just picked up a couple of pieces of WWI hardtack this past week: while I have cooked up some MRE's to see how they taste, and as a kid opened up some cans of C rations, I think I'll have to pass on the 90-year-old hardtack. :pinch:







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Some times you see this stuff with with dates, events and ships names on them in ink. To bad the soldier did not do the same with this . The last navy one I saw was named and dated to a cruiser that participated in the SpanAm war it went for almost 200.00 either way it is nice to see this stuff.



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"So, does not anyone know what size and shape of hardtack was issued by the US in WWI?"



AGM had an original box of hard bread on their web site a few months back. As I recall it went for $1200.00. I asked the size of the box and they replied 8" x 2 1/4" x 2 1/4".

Assuming a little space on the sides of the box I would guess the cracker itself would be 2 inches square.


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Interesting topic...or at least I think so.


There is an original piece of hardbread or "hard tack" at Sharlot Hall that was carried by a Rough Rider, it is a round sea-biscuit type as pictured above.


I have also seen a type with is a rectangle. Its about the width of a standard square piece, but is about 50% longer! I believe it to be from the 1900-1910 era before the Army went to the boxed hardbread from what little evidence I have. It was associated with a collection of items from that era.


Chris Fischer


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Here is a photo of a piece of hardtack on display at Love Field in Dallas, TX. This piece of hardtack was issued around 1917.


The thread on Love Field can be found here: http://www.usmilitariaforum.com/forums/ind...p;hl=love+field



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So, does not anyone know what size and shape of hardtack was issued by the US in WWI? These came from what I believe is a WWI ditty bag:




The piece on the left appears to be a piece of German issue hardbread (assuming it is about 11cm in diameter). The Bill Combs collection had a piece with provenance and was stamped in the center with a "WJ" cypher. AGM sold the better part of the Combs collection of Imperial goods in it catalog 76 this past February.


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The expensive part of that last batch of hardtack that we had was the box. The tinned iron sealed hardtack rations are actually fairly common, and can be had for between $200 and $300 depending on condition.


For fun, here are some others for comparison. I know this is a US forum, but as shown above - doughboys would end up with foreign rations.



WWI British hardtack biscuit with soldier's souvenir inscription.



German WWI hardbread ration



French WWI Hardtack Ration and issue container



Pre-war US hardbread ration. Each soldier carried two of these in his pack, along with a canned meat 'emergency ration' and the regular meat ration inside his bacon can.



WWI US hardbread ration. Same contents as the pasteboard container above, but packaged in a solder sealed tinned iron container. This was found to be necessary to protect the ration from being spoiled by poison gas fumes.



And just for grins, the US emergency ration.




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