Survival crackers among items at the Clague Museum

This month, I would like to tell you about the Civil Defense All Purpose Survival Crackers in the Clague House Museum collection.

When the threat of nuclear war in the USA was very possible in the late 1940s to 1960s, it was determined that if anything should happen, people needed some food to sustain them. The decision was to make crackers with bulgur wheat and some other basic ingredients, because this type of wheat is inexpensive, has excellent longevity, and has been used for about 4,000 years.

Many baking companies were contracted by the federal government to make the crackers, including the Cincinnati-based Kroger Company.

The Clague Museum is honored to have an unopened tin of these crackers originally made in late 1962. The tin has a net weight of about 7 pounds, with 62 crackers per pound, or a total of 434 crackers per container. It was expected that each container would sustain an adult for a 2-week period.

The crackers could also be used in other emergency situations.

At the height of production, 20 billion “Doomsday Biscuits” had been made. Production was finally halted in 1964.

If you would like to see our historic and pristine cracker tin (and many other artifacts), you may do so when the Clague House Museum re-opens for tours on July 4, beginning at noon.

Free timed tickets are available by calling the museum at 216-848-0680.

See you next month, and please stay safe!

Lysa Stanton

Lysa Layne Stanton is  the President of the Westlake Historical Society. She lives in Westlake with her wonderful husband, Dave and her awesome pets.

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Volume 13, Issue 11, Posted 10:16 AM, 06.02.2021