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Most of the photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs, 20 to 200 megabytes in size) from the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) Many were digitized by LOC contractors using a Sinar studio back. They are adjusted by your webmaster for contrast and color in Photoshop before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here.

 
 
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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • THERE'S NO MEDICINE FOR REGRET, 1945

Pork Barrel Pyrolysis: 1937

Pork Barrel Pyrolysis: 1937

Oct. 27, 1937. College Park, Maryland. "No longer is it necessary to age ham a year or so to obtain that sharp, pungent, cheesy flavor in the lean meat, so characteristic of Southern style ham. Speeding up nature, the Maryland Experiment Station, University of Maryland, in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, has developed a process by which it is possible to produce some of these characteristic flavors in hams in relatively short time -- 6 to 10 weeks -- by holding them at temperatures from 107F to 125F in specially constructed incubator. The first step in the process is the thorough curing of the hams, three days being allowed for each pound of ham being cured. Mr. F.D. Carroll, of the Maryland Experiment Station, is shown with a few of the hams after they have been cured." Harris & Ewing Collection glass negative. View full size.

 

The Ham Factory

For decades, folks in such positions have worn hair nets.

Downfall

This picture illustrates the beginning of the end of western civilization.

RE: I think I'll pass

3 days per lb of ham x 10 lbs = 30 days (4 weeks). If the hams averaged 15-20 lbs each, that would be 45-60 days, or 6-8 weeks.

Today this kind of information is secret

A few years ago a guard in a golf cart chased me off a sidewalk alongside a public road through the Department of Agriculture property near College Park. This photo suggests why they don't want people getting close enough to look.

I'll think I'll pass

Raw pork stored at 107-125 degrees in a barrel for 6 to 10 weeks might be a little "high" at the end of maturation, don't you think?

Power of the Clean White Coat

That spotless white jacket is meant to draw attention away from the walls, floor and interior of the barrel.

 
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Shorpy.com | History in HD is a vintage photo blog featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1950s. The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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