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The Resource Birdseye : the adventures of a curious man, Mark Kurlansky

Birdseye : the adventures of a curious man, Mark Kurlansky

Label
Birdseye : the adventures of a curious man
Title
Birdseye
Title remainder
the adventures of a curious man
Statement of responsibility
Mark Kurlansky
Creator
Subject
Genre
Language
eng
Summary
From the author who gave us "Cod," "Salt," and other informative bestsellers, the first biography of Clarence Birdseye, the eccentric genius inventor whose fast-freezing process revolutionized the food industry and American agriculture
Review
  • /* Starred Review */ Although frozen foods made Birds Eye a household name, few were familiar with Clarence Birdseye (1886–1956), developer of the fast-freezing process that became a multibillion-dollar international industry. In the first biography of the eccentric Brooklyn-born inventor, award-winning food author Kurlansky (Cod) brings Birdseye to life as he outlines the twists and turns of his unusual career. In a 1945 interview Birdseye stated that G.A. Henty’s 1891 novel Redskin and Cowboy “first influenced him to live the outdoor life.” Yearning for adventure, he dropped out of Amherst College in 1908 and worked in the southwest as a U.S. Biological Survey naturalist, collected ticks in Montana to research Rocky Mountain spotted fever, and became interested in food preservation in the frozen wilderness of Labrador. Experiments with freezing led to his 1927 patent, which “truly began the frozen food industry,” yet he had to deal with the same problems Adam Trask faced in John Steinbeck’s East of Eden—distrust, since “frozen vegetables were an unheard-of idea,” and “no trucks or train cars for frozen food,” Birdseye became a millionaire when Post bought his company for .5 million. Covering the science behind Birdseye’s other inventions along with intimate details of his family life, Kurlansky skillfully weaves a fluid narrative of facts on products, packaging, and marketing into this rags-to-riches portrait of the man whose ingenuity brought revolutionary changes to 20th-century life. Agent, Charlotte Sheedy. (June 8) --Staff (Reviewed March 12, 2012) (Publishers Weekly, vol 259, issue 11, p)
  • There was far more to American inventor Clarence Birdseye (1886–1956) than met the eye; he was slight and cheerful but restlessly curious. He was drawn into a life of travel to remote parts of the continent in search of adventure and new experiences. He invented tools and processes, notably that which enabled quick freezing of foodstuffs and revolutionized culinary habits. Birdseye launched not just the frozen-vegetable company that bears his now-famous name but an entire industry. Kurlansky, whose past works include the popular histories Salt and Cod , paints a complete picture of Birdseye's unusual career and accomplishments; however, this is not a gripping portrait of an individual. The lack of connection between the readers and the subject (rather than just his inventions) makes this one of Kurlansky's less-successful outings. VERDICT This is not one of Kurlansky's strongest books, but author and subject name recognition should generate interest.— Peter Hepburn, Univ. of Illinois at Chicago Lib. --Peter Hepburn (Reviewed May 15, 2012) (Library Journal, vol 137, issue 09, p95)
  • /* Starred Review */ Yes, the frozen-food guy really was named Clarence Birdseye (1886–1956), and the story of his adventures is another satisfying dish from the remarkable menu of the author of Cod (1997), Salt (2002) and other treats. Kurlansky (The Eastern Stars: How Baseball Changed the Dominican Town of San Pedro de Macoris, 2010, etc.) places Birdseye in the same category as Thomas Edison: amateurs who got curious about a problem, played around with it (sometimes for years) and eventually figured it out. Birdseye had many more interests than frozen foods, writes the author; he invented, among other things, a kind of light bulb and even a whaling harpoon. He also grew up in a world that seemed to have limitless resources--no worries about plundering the planet. He killed creatures with abandon for decades, many of which he enjoyed eating, including field mice, chipmunks and porcupine. His curiosity also made him fearless. He conducted field research on Rocky Mountain spotted fever (collecting thousands of ticks), and he lived in the frigid Labrador region of Canada (and took his equally fearless wife and their infant). It was in the North that he began to wonder why foods frozen there--naturally--tasted so much better than the frozen foods back home. He discovered, of course, that it was quick-freezing at very cold temperatures that did the trick. He eventually invented the process that produced vast amounts of good frozen food, but then had to wait for the supporting infrastructure (transportation, storage, etc.). Kurlansky tells the exciting tale of Birdseye's adventures, failures and successes (he became a multi-millionaire) and his family, and he also offers engaging snippets about Velveeta, dehydration and Grape-Nuts. The author notes that Birdseye knew that curiosity is "one essential ingredient" in a fulfilling life; it is a quality that grateful readers also discover in each of Kurlansky's books.(Kirkus Reviews, March 15, 2012)
Biography type
individual biography
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/bookUI
10109901
Cataloging source
DLC
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Kurlansky, Mark
Dewey number
  • 338.7/66402853092
  • B
Illustrations
  • illustrations
  • plates
Index
index present
LC call number
HD9217.U52
LC item number
B575 2012
Literary form
non fiction
Nature of contents
bibliography
NLM call number
HD9217 U52
NLM item number
B575 2012
http://library.link/vocab/resourcePreferred
True
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • Birdseye, Clarence
  • Birdseye, Clarence
  • Frozen foods industry
  • Inventors
  • Businessmen
  • Inventors
  • Businessmen
  • Frozen foods industry
  • Inventors
  • United States
http://bibfra.me/vocab/lite/titleRemainder
the adventures of a curious man
Label
Birdseye : the adventures of a curious man, Mark Kurlansky
Instantiates
Publication
Bibliography note
Includes bibliographical references (pages 233-240) and index
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Contents
Prologue: a curious ending -- A nineteenth-century man -- Bugs begins -- Bob goes West -- Ticks -- Frozen -- Freezing -- The idea -- The deal -- The magic -- The inventor -- Beyond the sunset and the baths
Control code
ocn753624523
Dimensions
22 cm
Edition
1st ed.
Extent
xvii, 251 pages, 8 unnumbered pages of plates
Isbn
9780385527057
Lccn
2011044891
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
Other control number
40021108421
Other physical details
illustrations
System control number
(OCoLC)753624523
Label
Birdseye : the adventures of a curious man, Mark Kurlansky
Publication
Bibliography note
Includes bibliographical references (pages 233-240) and index
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Contents
Prologue: a curious ending -- A nineteenth-century man -- Bugs begins -- Bob goes West -- Ticks -- Frozen -- Freezing -- The idea -- The deal -- The magic -- The inventor -- Beyond the sunset and the baths
Control code
ocn753624523
Dimensions
22 cm
Edition
1st ed.
Extent
xvii, 251 pages, 8 unnumbered pages of plates
Isbn
9780385527057
Lccn
2011044891
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
Other control number
40021108421
Other physical details
illustrations
System control number
(OCoLC)753624523

Library Locations

    • Monmouth Public LibraryBorrow it
      168 S Ecols St., Monmouth, OR, 97361, US
      44.848141 -123.23189
    • Silver Falls Library DistrictBorrow it
      410 S. Water Street, Silverton, OR, 97381, US
      45.003378 -122.781322
    • Woodburn Public LibraryBorrow it
      280 Garfield Street, Woodburn, OR, 97071, US
      45.143305 -122.858355
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