In 1804, Frenchman Nicolas François Apper invented an unusual way of preserving meat products. The boiled meat was placed in a dish heated to a temperature of 110-115 degrees. A small hole was left, which was sealed after the product cooled down. The invention of the Frenchman made it possible to preserve meat for a long time. Napoleon himself awarded Upper the title of "Benefactor of Humanity".
The growth of the urban population at the beginning of the 19th century required the ability to supply citizens with food that did not deteriorate during delivery and storage. Upper's method was very timely. The invention spread rapidly throughout the world. For example, the British, who bought a manufacturing patent, set about improving the process. The meat was packed in cans and hermetically sealed. Soon, a similar method began to be used in Germany and the United States. It should be noted that at that time stew was a rather expensive product, inaccessible to ordinary people.
Already in the second half of the 19th century, canned food was produced in a huge range, and competition began between numerous manufacturing firms. The production process was mechanized, which led to lower prices. Large-scale wars of that time significantly increased the demand for shelf-stable products.
In our country, the first cannery was opened in 1870. He was in St. Petersburg and produced five types of canned food: fried beef, stew, porridge, meat with peas and pea soup. The army was the main customer, and canned food quickly became the soldier's favorite food.
In 1858, a can opener was invented in the United States and was used by the American army during the Civil War. Before that, canned food had to be opened with a knife, bayonet, or even a shot from a gun.
In 1966, a can of canned meat produced in 1916 was delivered to the All-Union Scientific Research Institute of the Canning Industry. The owner claimed to have received it at the front in the First World War. The analysis showed that the product retained its qualities even after half a century.
An equally surprising incident took place in 1939. A can of canned meat found in the Arctic was opened. It was made in the middle of the 19th century. The analysis of the content, however, was not carried out, but eyewitnesses claimed that the taste of the meat was excellent.
Even in the tsarist army, the daily rate of meat for the lower ranks was one pound. It was this weight that the cans of stew, which was produced for the army, had. In our country, such a measure of weight has not been used for a long time, but many types of stew still weigh 400 g.