The instant coffee of the Civil War era. George Hummel unleashed the Essence of Coffee on an unsuspecting world, evaporating vast quantities of coffee — complete with Borden's condensed milk and sugar — into what is often described as a thick, brown sludge or a noxious, black grease. By all accounts, Union soldiers abhorred the stuff, and these were men who, according to Grinspan, would brew coffee with water from "brackish bays and Mississippi mud, liquid their horses would not drink" if that's what it took to sharpen their nerves and minds on the whetstone of holy caffeine. Despite the label's insistence that the product was "celebrated" and "more wholesome than pure coffee," the Essence of Coffee tested even the standards of these hardened soldiers. This example measures 2 5/8” by 2” and was manufactured by Jewett & Sherman Co. of Milwaukee. It still contains a trace amount of the original product and smells of coffee. A scarce example of a Civil War soldier’s ration.
Inventory Number: CAM 479 / SOLD