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Subject:Footnote for a game setting I've already written...
Time:11:33 am
I thought of this today - unfortunately I wrote the game setting, the automata part of Forgotten Futures IX, in 2003 and it's a bit late to retro-fit it, especially since the name of an automaton there contradicts it. Maybe someone else can use it for a steampunk book or something, if someone hasn't got there first:

Historically the budget for the first British military steam automata was slipped past the Treasury as purchase of "improved mobile tea urns for field use." When the cost passed £2000 questions were asked in Parliament, and a committee of MPs visited the factory to investigate. The prototype automaton was hastily fitted with a hot water spigot and a punched disk of instructions for making tea. The MPs were delighted and actually suggested that it might be a good idea to teach them to fire guns too, for emergencies.

This incident led to two traditions:
  • All British military automata are built to make tea, if only by having a small electrically-heated pot built in somewhere.
  • British soldiers (and those of many other nations) refer to automata as "urns," "samovars," or the equivalent. Popular automata are often nicknamed "Ernie" in Britain.

Unfortunately the main military automaton in my game was specifically called "Automaton Atkins," Tommy to his squad, so it really doesn't fit in terribly well. But if someone else wants to use this please feel free - some credit would be nice though!



Also posted at http://ffutures.dreamwidth.org/2057783.html, where there are comment count unavailable comments. Please comment here or there using OpenID.
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history_monk
Link:(Link)
Time:2017-02-20 02:00 pm (UTC)
And modern British armoured vehicles are all fitted with a electric "Boiling Vessel", for making tea and heating rations. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boiling_vessel.
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ffutures
Link:(Link)
Time:2017-02-20 06:52 pm (UTC)
Is that why I've sometimes seen making tea referred to as "making a bevvy" or words to that effect?
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history_monk
Link:(Link)
Time:2017-02-20 08:19 pm (UTC)
Boiling Vessels appeared in about 1945. I think "bevvy" is older than that.
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original_aj
Link:(Link)
Time:2017-02-20 10:59 pm (UTC)
I'd always assumed Bevvy was short for beverage.
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landsmand
Link:(Link)
Time:2017-02-21 09:26 am (UTC)
'Bevvy' is always alcohol. A hot drink, in Army useage, is a 'brew', in the Naval service, a 'wet'.
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ffutures
Link:(Link)
Time:2017-02-21 09:59 am (UTC)
OK, I got that completely wrong then. Good thing I didn't use it in something I wrote!
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landsmand
Link:(Link)
Time:2017-02-21 09:25 am (UTC)
Tea and hot drinks. Interestingly, a common characteristic of all British armoured vehicles since effectively forever is their fitting with a BV - a boiling vessel, designed to supply boiling water for brews. This is in sharp contrast to pretty much every other nation's AFVs.
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ffutures
Link:(Link)
Time:2017-02-21 10:02 am (UTC)
You're saying the US army manages without coffee? Good grief.

Actually I can see why, you would not want to have it burst in combat or something, but you'd think there would be a way to produce suitably hot water as needed without it being boiling hot for more than a few seconds.
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