Posted by Bob on November 07, 2005
In Reply to: A Square Meal posted by Steve Drewe on November 06, 2005
: I have been aboard many old sailing ships, including the HMS Victory and on every occasion the tables are 'dressed' with the square wooden plates rimmed to avoid spillage. The plate allowed what was thought to be sufficient food and would not be higher than the rim. There is no doubt in my mind and that of naval historians that 'A Square Meal' relates to this and not, as you seem to be so assured, to be of US origin first used in 1878!!
it should be easy for you then to find an earlier text reference. We'll correct the record immediately after.