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The 1794 Navy Ration Law

Reprinted from April 1952 All Hands Magazine

As early as 1794, Congress provided for the daily subsistence of Navymen. Here's the bill of fare, as prescribed by law, at the time:

  • Sunday -- 1 lb bread, 1- lb beef, pt rice

  • Monday -- 1 lb bread, 1 lb pork, pt peas, 4 oz cheese

  • Tuesday -- 1 lb bread, 1- lb beef, 1 lb potatoes or turnips and pudding

  • Wednesday -- 1 lb bread, 2 oz butter or, in lieu thereof, 6 oz molasses, 4 oz cheese and pt rice

  • Thursday -- 1 lb bread, 1 lb pork, pint peas, pt peas or beans

  • Friday -- 1 lb bread, 1 lb salt fish, 2 oz butter or 1 gill oil and 1 lb potatoes

  • Saturday -- 1 lb bread, 1 lb pork, pint peas or beans, 4 oz cheese

Congress also provided that "there shall also be allowed one-half pint of distilled spirits per day or, in lieu thereof, one quart of beer per day, to each ration."

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