The M1910 Haversack ration coffee and condiment box was one component of the early combat rations.
The Haversack ration contained enough salt, pepper, sugar, and coffee for one soldier for one day. A full haversack aka reserve ration consisted of two haversack condiments and coffee boxes plus two hard bread packages and two 1lb cans of meat.
According to the 1909 Buffalo Express, the coffee was compressed under 12 tons of pressure and reduced to a third of its normal size. The article indicates that such compression was a new concept in food preparation. It was, in fact, one of the first appearances of instant coffee.
By WWI, instant coffee was a staple of the soldier’s diet. The haversack ration, however, was, by that point considered obsolete and a new emergency ration was in development that contained powdered meat, chocolate, and coffee portions in one small container. Unfortunately, the new emergency ration never arrived on the front lines until after armistice day.
This Haversack Ration box is empty and contains no food products. The unwaxed box comes open on both ends so that you can choose to fill the box with your own ration ingredients.