V. The Modern Period, 1789–1914 > A. Global and Comparative Dimensions > 3. Technological Developments, 1800–1914 > d. Agricultural Production and Food Technology
  The Encyclopedia of World History.  2001.
d. Agricultural Production and Food Technology
Franz K. Achard (1753–1821) built the first sugar-beet factory (Silesia). Sugar-beet cultivation and beet-sugar industry developed primarily in France and Germany.  1
Nicolas Appert (c. 1750–1840) described system for food preservation by canning, using glass jars. Tin cans introduced 1811.  2
Cyrus H. McCormick (1809–84) patented his reaper and began commercial manufacture c. 1840. Obed Hussey (1792–1860) invented a similar reaper simultaneously and independently.  3
John Deere (1804–86) introduced the steel plow. In 1819 Jethro Wood (1774–1834) had developed a cast iron plow; and John Lane had introduced a steel-blade plowshare in 1833. James Oliver's (1823–1908) chilled plow of 1855 was improved by the Marsh brothers (1857). Mechanical power was applied to plowing with the introduction of cable plowing (1850); by 1858 John Fowler had introduced the steam plow.  4
Improvements in farm implements included the revolving disc harrow (1847), binder (1850), corn planter (1853), two-horse straddle-row cultivator (1856), combine harvester (1860), combine seed drill (1867), and sheaf-binding harvester (1878).  5
Gail Borden (1801–74) opened the first factory for the production of evaporated milk.  6
After Louis Pasteur's work on microorganisms, pasteurization was introduced as a means of preserving beer, wine, and milk.  7
1865 Ff
Development of mechanical refrigeration for preservation of food products, especially Thaddeus Lowe's (1832–1913) compression ice machine (1865) and Linde's ammonia compression refrigerator (1873).  8
1869 Ff
Transcontinental railway aided development of meat-packing industry in Chicago.  9
Gustav de Laval (1845–1913) invented the centrifugal cream separator.  10
1880 Ff
Application of chemical fertilizers increased food production. J. B. Lawes manufactured superphosphates (1842); Chilean sodium nitrate beds exploited from c. 1870 until methods of fixing atmospheric nitrogen were developed after 1900 by Fritz Haber (1868–1934); use of potash as an inorganic fertilizer from Strassfurt deposits.  11
The Encyclopedia of World History, Sixth edition. Peter N. Stearns, general editor. Copyright © 2001 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Maps by Mary Reilly, copyright 2001 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.