Product images of Portable soup
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A square block of dry soup marked with a broad arrow. This type of stock tablet was used as an antiscorbutic (scurvy preventative) on Cook's voyages. Made from bones and scraps of meat from beef carcasses boiled down to make a glue-like substance which could be dried and then dissolved in water when required. The broad arrow is to show that the soup is government property and prevent theft. This tablet of dried soup was manufactured by the Navy Victualling Office following a suggestion of Dr James Lind in 1754. He felt that the provision of such 'soup' would be a valuable antiscorbutic measure. The tablets were made from the 'unsalted feet and shins' of the cattle killed for the navy in London. The composition also included mutton 'to make it more nourishing'. Such tablets were used by Captain Cook on his voyages and were served with peas or celery and oatmeal on 'banyan' or meatless days.
- Image reference: D5217
- National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London