'Bantam Coffee - Made in the Cup in a Moment!', c 1930s.
© Michael Martin / Science & Society Picture Library
An early advertisement for instant coffee painted on to a glas lanternslide and shown at local cinemas between feature films. Although the first attempts to create an instant coffee were made in the 19th century, it was not until 1903 that Dr Satori Kato, a Japanese- American chemist working in the United States patented a proces for soluble coffee powder. Other developers followed and in the 1920s, as a result of prohibition, coffee sales soared. By 1940 the United States was importing 70% of the world's coffee crop and American soldiers were isued with instant coffee in their rations during World War II.