Day 11 - Food and Drink

Tis the season to eat, drink and be merry. For this reason we sought out a couple of items from our collection which helped sailors do the same. The first is this fine bottle of British Navy Rum. As History of the Royal Navy in the 20th Centaury explains;

"The last rum issue was made to the Navy's sailors on 31st of July 1970. The tot, an eighth of a pint of 98 per cent proof spirit, was available free daily for all ratings aged over 20 and was served neat to Petty Officers (commissioned officers did not receive it except when 'Splice the Mainbrace' was ordered, usually by the Sovereign) or with added water for junior ratings. In compensation the 'Sailors' Fund', usually known as the 'tot fund' was set up with the money it was calculated the Treasury would save. This was used to buy equipment and amenities to improve the sailor's life, particularly ashore."

The second is this tasty looking, 150-year-old seabiscuit or hardtack. These were made with a mixture of flour, water and sometimes salt, and these were often part of a sailors rations. This one was from stores of the fishing ship Resolute, New Haven, Scotland. Hopefully your festive rations have been slightly more favorable! 

Quote: History of the Royal Navy in the 20th Centaury, Editor: Antony Preston, 1987, p183

Objects: Vancouver Maritime Museum, Parks Canada St. Roch Collection