Forgotten technology: self-heating canned food of tsarist Russia
Forgotten technology: self-heating canned food of tsarist Russia

Everyone knows that canned food has become a real breakthrough in the history of food, especially in the issue of providing food to soldiers. They remain indispensable today in terms of storing food in the field. But few people know that one domestic inventor was able to modernize an ordinary can of stew: the meat did not need to be heated, because the container did it itself.

Production of canned food, the beginning of the twentieth century

Unlike other European countries, the Russian Empire established its own canned food production only in 1870. At that time, only five types of canned food were made in St. Petersburg: pea soup, meat with peas, porridge, stew and fried beef.

True, in the domestic open spaces they were not in use for a long time, and only the First World War added the popularity of this product.

It took a long time for people in Russia to get used to canned food

However, in the difficult war years, there was a problem with canned food at the front: it was difficult to warm them up, because the manufacturer advised to do it right in the factory container on fire, and the smoke from a made fire, even in a trench war, was not the best solution.

It was then that they suddenly remembered the amazing discovery of the Russian inventor Yevgeny Fedorov.

Canned food helped to preserve the nutritional value of the soldiers' diet in all conditions

Despite the fact that Evgeny Stepanovich Fedorov was an aviation engineer by education (he graduated from the St. Petersburg Military Engineering School), it was he who in 1897 came up with the idea to create a self-heating tin can. Heating was carried out due to a chemical reaction: the container, which Fedorov invented, had a double bottom, where quicklime and water were placed.

It was necessary to turn the bottom, and the substances entered into a reaction, accompanied by the release of heat. So the food was warmed up.

The solution to the problem of heating food was solved by a chemical reaction

This invention had excellent prospects, because such an innovation turned out to be a real salvation for the military, especially those units that should remain as unnoticed as possible, such as intelligence officers. Therefore, the production of canned food Fedorov was established in the Russian Empire already in 1915, however, the parties were not very large.

Canned food that warmed up food itself became a real breakthrough

Initially, large production volumes were not deployed to give the population time to get used to the unusual invention. However, everything did not go at all as planned: by the end of the First World War, the supply of canned food to Fedorov practically disappeared, and after that it was completely stopped, and the technology itself did not take root and ended up in oblivion.

Who would have thought that Fedorov's technology would suddenly surface among the Nazis

But abroad, twenty years later, they remembered about it: already during the Great Patriotic War, Soviet soldiers found self-heating cans of stew that were practically identical in technology from the Germans - in the Third Reich they just copied Fedorov's invention, but it did not take root there for a long time.

Therefore, today this kind of canned food can be found not in the domestic open spaces or in Europe, but in Japan. And many Russian tourists do not even imagine that outlandish jars with heating the contents were actually invented by their own compatriot.

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