Glancing Back: June 18, 2001


Blood, Toil, tears, and Freezing Capability

“Great Britain’s defense, up to now, has been possible largely because it preserved and retained foods,” A. E. Stevens, vice president of Birds Eye Frosted Food Sales Corp. reported on June 16, 1941, to the second annual convention of the Institute of Food Technologists.

According to the article in the June 18, 1941 News, Stevens stated that three years prior to 1941 Britain had almost no storage space that could hold 0°F, but as of June 16, 1941, there were 50 of these warehouses in Britain, 10 of them government owned.

“More than a year ago, the British government appraised the defense value of this zero temperature storage by rationing it and reserving the greater part of this space for government use. … A good example of the careful planning, study, and scientific research for national defense which is being carried out in Great Britain is the fact that practically all of the recently built cold storage warehouses in the British Isles are gas proof,” said Stevens.

One important factor in the use of frozen foods vs. fresh is the fact that frozen foods require fewer transportation facilities and less storage space than fresh food. “One carload of quick-frozen peas is equal to 10 carloads of fresh peas in the pod. A carload of unshelled peas contains about 6,600 lb of edible peas; there are over 60,000 lb of edible peas in a carload of the quick-frozen variety. The point I wish to make is that one carload of quick-frozen peas frees about nine other railroad cars, an important consideration when and if transportation priorities are enforced,” stated Stevens.


Sunrise, Sunset

At the seventh annual meeting of the Hydronics Institute (HI), part of the Gas Appliance Manu-facturers Association (GAMA), Sheldon H. Butt, then president of the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), declared that those present were faced with an explosive business opportunity by selling solar domestic hot water heaters and solar home heating systems, acquiring solar manufacturing companies, and manufacturing solar collectors in-house.

In an article from the June 20, 1977 News, Butt predicted the value of solar systems to be installed in 1977 to be over $100 million.

He also pointed out that there was a good fit between hydronics and solar in using the same distribution channels, and by the virtue that hydronics was a mature and financially stable sector, it could bring cohesion to the solar industry.

Professor Warren S. Harris, consultant to HI, had a little different take on the solar industry as it stood in 1977. It amused Harris that people’s attitude toward solar was that it is free because it’s there to be captured. He stressed that solar equipment is highly cost intensive. He said that tests showed that actual savings on some residential systems were about $10 or less/year.


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