Bottle and Canned Foods Thanks to Appert

Nicolas Appert—the inventor of hermetically sealed food preservation and the “father of bottled – canned foods”—was born November 17, 1749 in France.

He was a chef in Paris, France 1784 to 1795. In 1795, he experimenting with ways to preserve foodstuffs, succeeding with soups, vegetables, juices, dairy products, jams and syrups. He placed the food in glass jars then sealed them with cork and sealing wax and placed them in boiling water.

By 1800 there was a contest for new methods to preserve food. Appert in 1806 he offered his method of bottled fruits and vegetables but did not win the contest. Instead, he did publish a cookbook on his method of food preservation.

Then in the town of Massy outside of Paris the ‘House of Appert’ was started as a food bottling factory. Appert’s method was to fill thick, large-mouthed glass bottles with produce of every description, ranging from beef, fowl, eggs, milk, and prepared dishes. The bottle was then wrapped in canvas to protect it, while it was dunked into boiling water and then boiled for as much time as Appert deemed appropriate for cooking the contents thoroughly. Appert’s method was so simple and workable that it quickly became widespread. By 1822, the Appert method was started to be used in the United States and it was easy to open the bottles.

A British inventor, Peter Durand, patented a method of food preservation using a tin can. That so was successful in Europe but not until mid-1800s did it become popular in America, especially after a can opener was invented in England in 1855. Before that a hammer and chisel were used for tin cans.

Appert died June 1, 1841 at age 91 in France.

Having methods of food preservation was important improvement for your ancestors in the 1800s, whether they lived in Europe or America. Food preserved in jars especially done at home became popular well into the 20th century.

Photos: Preserved (canned) food in a bottle jar; Nicolas Appert; and canning in jars today.

Related Blogs:

Your Ancestors and Food Preservation

Favorite Foods 1850-1900

Foods of Your Ancestors

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