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Category:
Technology

A Whole Sheep in a Can


In 1948, the Continental Can Company ran a series of magazine ads presenting "uncanny" facts about the history of canning. One of these facts was the great technological achievement from 1852 of packing an entire sheep into a huge can.

The ad didn't bother to say who exactly did this, but after a bit of googling I figured out that it was the French inventor Raymond Chevallier-Appert (1801-1892). Before Chevallier-Appert, canned food kept spoiling. He figured out that it needed to be cooked at higher temperatures. Here's the rest of the story from the Stravaganza blog:

Studying the problem, [Chevallier-Appert] decided that higher degrees of heat were needed in cooking. The apparatus called the autoclave, a closed vessel in which steam under pressure gave heat much greater than boiling water, had never been used for cooking food, however, and there was danger of over-cooking, because it lacked apparatus to measure and regulate the heat. Chevallier-Appert equipped the crude autoclave with another crude device, a manometer, which had been used for measuring heat in boilers. It would measure differences of only twenty degrees. He made it an instrument of precision, capable of measuring half a degree, and patented the invention in 1852. With greater heat, and an instrument to measure and control it, the difficulties of canning were overcome to such a degree that in June, 1852, Chevallier-Appert exhibited to scientists a whole sheep that had been cooked and sealed in a huge can in his autoclave four months before.
Posted By: Alex | Date: Fri Jul 17, 2015 | Comments (4)
Category: Animals, Food, Technology, Nineteenth Century

Way Out

Posted By: Paul | Date: Wed Jul 15, 2015 | Comments (3)
Category: Technology, Computers, Surrealism

Mystery Gadget 30

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I've deliberately blotted out the product name here, so you can't google the device. After you register your guess, visit here for the answer
Posted By: Paul | Date: Tue Jul 14, 2015 | Comments (13)
Category: Technology, 1920's

1950s Magnifying TV



How the heck did that magnification stunt work with 1950s technology? A lens sliding across the cathode-ray tube?
Posted By: Paul | Date: Fri Jun 26, 2015 | Comments (11)
Category: Technology, Television, 1950's

Mystery Gadget 29

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Gadget with closeup.

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Different model.

What is this thing intended for? Hint: even though it would have had more widespread use a century ago, it could still be useful today.

The answer is here.
Posted By: Paul | Date: Fri Jun 12, 2015 | Comments (6)
Category: Technology, 1910's

Mystery Gadget 28

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Man in an electrified cage. Why?

Find out here.
Posted By: Paul | Date: Wed May 27, 2015 | Comments (13)
Category: Technology, 1900's

Mystery Gadget 27

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What did this big monster machine do? I'll mention that it was not a one-off experimental device, but something in daily use in New York City.

The answer is here.
Posted By: Paul | Date: Thu May 07, 2015 | Comments (15)
Category: Technology, 1910's

Tomorrow:  Television!

Posted By: Paul | Date: Thu Apr 30, 2015 | Comments (4)
Category: Technology, Television, 1940's, Yesterday's Tomorrows

The Rotoped

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Early "walking machine." Article and actual fotos here.
Posted By: Paul | Date: Wed Apr 29, 2015 | Comments (5)
Category: Technology, 1970's
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All original content in posts is Copyright © 2008 by the author of the post, either Alex Boese ("Alex"), Paul Di Filippo ("Paul"), or Chuck Shepherd ("Chuck"). All rights reserved. The banner illustration at the top of this page is Copyright © 2008 by Rick Altergott.