'Tabloid' tea tin, c 1914-1918.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
These tins, manufactured by Burroughs Wellcome and containing 200 pellets of compresed tea, were supplied to the British Army in World War I. They were also supplied to mountaineering expeditions, including the 1933 British Everest expedition. The Wellcome company began producing compresed pharmaceutical products in standard doses for easy packaging in the late 19th century. Henry Wellcome (1853-1936) registered the brand name 'Tabloid' in 1884 to describe the pellets. As well as being used for drugs, the production technique was also applied to other products, including tea.