On page 323, Vol. XV., of the Scientific American, irf a leading editorial, we discussed the above subject, offering some suggestions as to modes by which meats could be preserved fresh during transportation over long distances. We closed the article referred to with the following paragraph: In the more immediate Western States, it is possible to construct cars so that animals may be slaughtered there, and the fresh beef delivered in a wholesome condition in this city. In the Southwest this plan seems at present impossible, and the only mode by which this object can be attained will be by boats constructed for the express purpose of. carrying the slaughtered animals from the ports of New Orleans or Galves-ton direct to the Atlantic seaboard. This project seems to be a very difficult one, we admit, but science, well directed by capital, may yet accomplish the result. Our suggestions were made with reference to the construction of refrigerating cars and boats for the purpose specified, ,and we now have the satisfaction to record that they have borne good fruit. The New York Herald, of March 19th, says: Yesterday a new invention, in the shape of machinery for making ice and performing the refrigerating process, was tested on board the ship William Tdber, lying at the foot of Nineteenth street, East River, in the presence of a number of scientific and mechanical gentlemen, to whom invitations had been extended. The ship already named has been thoroughly fitted with this new apparatus for the preservation, during transportation, of fresh beef and other perishable food for a long period, and she will sail for Texas some day next week, to return with a large cargo. The properties and designs of this novel invention may be briefly stated as follows: The inventor has contrived a series of pumps, by means of which he obtains a pressure on the carbonic acid gas generated in the process of working, which was before obtained by the action of oil of vitriol on carbonate of lime. When these two properties are brought together they must, under this process, decompose. He has reduced the carbonic acid precisely in this way, and allows it to escape into bags. By the application of the pumps, which are surrounded with water, he reduces it to a liquid state. The first pump, under this pressure, carries 75 pounds to the square inch, the second 300, and the third is capable of 1,200 pounds to the inch, which pressure is amply sufficient to liquefy carbonic acid gas. Having reduced it to a liquid form, it necessarily becomes deprived of all its caloric, and the moment it becomes liberated it again assumes its gaseous form and takes caloric from all surrounding points. The inventor's first idea was to utilize carbonic acid gas for the production of ice. One of the principal features in the apparatus is an iron case lined with copper, and through which are copper tubes set in the top and running clear through. This case is surrounded with wood and well packed by other material to prevent it from receiving caloric from the outside. The tubes are filled with water, which soon becomes converted into ice. Another novel feature in this invention is that after the gas has performed its office of converting the water into ice once it is allowed to escape into gas again. It is now ready to be reliquefied and to go over and convert another quantity of water into ice. The expense is limited to the interest upon the apparatus used, the cost of a given quantity of carbonic acid gas, and the cost of running a steam engine and apparatus to liquefy it and turn it into a gaseous form again. Fifty dollar ' worth of carbonic acid gas, it is claimed, would make numbers of tuns of ice. The two great principles, then, in the mechanism of the affair, seem to be, first, the application of pumps to the liquefaction of carbonic acid gas ; and second, the remaking of it into gas over and over again ad infinitum. On experimenting the inventor also found that^ the passage of a current of air through the tubes produced an intense degree of cold, and the idea at once occurred to him that he could, by means of a " blower," make a current of air available to cool a room of any given size, and in this he succeeded, as exemplified yesterday. The same current of air goes through the " blower " repeatedly. In a temperature of forty-five degrees, in a room sixty-six feet long, thirty-three wide, and thirteen high, in eight minutes the thermometer went below zero twenty-six degrees. With the aid of this machinery the ship William Tdber is prepared now to carry from Texas to the New York market, it is claimed, 400 tuns of fresh beef. Through the agency of this process, it is also stated that all kinds of fresh meats, fresh fish, fruit and vegetables can be preserved for an indefinite time in a cold, dry atmosphere. The value of 400 tuns of beef in the New York market is about $96,000; the expenses of the trip to Texas is estimated at $10,000, which would leave the handsome profit to the inventors, whoever they may be, of $86,000. After the apparatus had been thoroughly tested, as above described, the gentlemen present partook of a handsome dejeuner on board the ship, during the progress of which the inventor performed some very interesting scientific feats, such as boiling an egg hard, making champagne cream, solidifying quicksilver and other things pertaining to the laboratory of the chemist, through the agency of carbonic acid gas and his refrigerating process. The third pumping engine for the Brooklyn Water Works, now being built, will be the largest and most powerful pumping engine in the world, with the exception of one in Cincinnati. + ^ ~9m--------------------- Lumbering operations in Canada are nearly stopped by the extraordinary fall of snow during the past winter.
This article was originally published with the title "Transportation of Fresh Meats to Market" in Scientific American 20, 14, 211 (April 1869)