Archaeologist 3D Scans World’s Oldest Preserved Ham And Peanut

3D Scan Ham and Peanut









I found this fascinating story on Forbes and wanted to share it with you.

Along with drone technology, three-dimensional scanning and printing are revolutionizing the field of archaeology. High-quality replicas are inexpensive to produce, and digitizing a collection of stone tools, pottery, bones, and other artifacts to share with others around the world is easy to do. At the forefront of the field of 3D digitizing in archaeology is Bernard Means, an archaeologist who has scanned such intriguing items as George Washington’s brother’s wig curler, a 19th century glass nipple shield, a Japanese porcelain WWII hand grenade, and a piece of the Space Shuttle Discoveryfor a museum display. Now Means is making news for being the first to digitize the world’s oldest preserved Smithfield ham and peanut.

On display at the Isle of Wight County Museum, the ham and the peanut are both historical artifacts, not only because of their date — the peanut dates to 1890, and the ham to 1902 — but because of the importance of these foodstuffs to the agricultural and commercial history of the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Virginia is well-known for both its peanuts and its salted pork, commonly referred to as Smithfield hams from the city in which they are still produced.  And the popularity of both of these foods is due in large part to the marketing genius of Pembroke Decatur (P.D.) Gwaltney, Jr.  Gwaltney was born in 1861, and his father, P.D. Sr., was known as the “Peanut King” for his peanut business. That title was eventually taken away by the founder of Planter’s, and the peanut industry in Smithfield, Virginia, was essentially completely destroyed by a fire in 1921. After that tragedy, P.D. Jr. decided to invest in expanding his family’s pork-processing business instead of rebuilding the peanut industry. He modernized the facilities and drafted a law in 1926 that said all genuine Smithfield hams had to be made within the city limits.

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