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Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

© 2018 SHORPY INC.

[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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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.

On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5

The Ham Factory

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


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.

SHORPY HISTORICAL PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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