A Simple Military Clay Oven circa 1895

Armies march on their stomachs. Historically, this often meant that armies marched with their bakeries. Military field manuals are a source of information in simple impromptu oven construction. The simplest oven is the item 496: An oven may be excavated in a clay bank (Fig. 6) and used at once. Few of us have sloped clay banks in our yards that can be dug into for an oven, but this suggests the possibility of ovens as a technical possibility long before there were even mud earth structures. But a more practical oven is the first of the two ovens described in item 495. It is an oven built by slathering clay over a barrel. This is so similar to the Sunset Magazine’s oven built over a cardboard trash barrel that I would not be surprised if a military oven were not the inspiration for Sunset’s instructions. Continue reading “A Simple Military Clay Oven circa 1895”