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2002

Early Farm and Home Pork Processing and Preservation
Cast iron cauldron, kerosene stove with canner, and three jars of canned meat

Cast iron cauldron, kerosene stove with canner, and three jars of canned meat

"Early Farm and Home Pork Processing and Preservation" was the featured theme for the Pasto Agricultural Museum during Penn State's Ag Progress Days Aug. 20 - 22, 2002.

The exhibit is supported by the Professor P. Thomas Ziegler Endowment for the Pasto Agricultural Museum. An initial contribution was made available "for the immediate purchase of meat processing artifacts and all equipment needed to adequately establish and display an exhibit honoring the late Professor P. Thomas Ziegler." The museum has had a modest collection of previously donated items involved in early farm and home pork processing and preservation. These have been combined with those purchased from the Ziegler Endowment funds for this memorial exhibition.

Professor Ziegler wrote numerous practical and scientific articles for popular and technical journals. Original copies of publications from years 1936, 1949, 1952, and 1959 are displayed. His best known publication was the book The Meat We Eat first published in 1943. It became the first college meat processing textbook. Copy number one of the first edition of this book is displayed on loan through the courtesy of his widow, Jean L. Ziegler.

Visitors saw the steps and tools used in early farm and home pork processing and preservation. They are grouped in six categories.:

1. Immobilization (stunning)
2. Hair Removal (scalding, scraping, skinning)
3. Splitting the Carcass
4. Making Primal Cuts
5. Trimming the Primal Cuts (fat trim, lean trim, miscellaneous cuts)
6. Preservation (freezing, curing, smoking, canning)

According to Darwin Braund, volunteer curator, nearly every farm family produced and processed at home all the meat consumed during the entire year. "This exhibit covers the days before electricity and refrigeration, thus the rudimentary nature of the tools and processes," says Braund.

This exhibit covers the days before electricity and refrigeration, thus the rudimentary nature of the tools and processes. Nearly every farm family produced and processed at home all the meat consumed during the entire year.

Also note the first-person recollections of early meat processing work at Penn State hand written by Professor P. T. Ziegler.