Nicolas APPERT (1749-1841) is the first to develop a food method storage by sterelizing using heat into sealed and sterile jars. He created in France the very first canned food factory of the world.
He tells you his story…
My name is Nicolas Appert, I was born on november 17th, 1749 in Châlons-sur-marne. I am the ninth child of an innkeeper couple and very soon I am interested in cooking, confectionnary products and with the food method storage.
In 1784, after spending 12 years working at « Château de Deux ponts » in Germany, I open in Paris a candy shop. In 1789, I start being a revolutionnary until 1794 and I end up in prison for 3 months. I trend my works on finding out solutions for a better storage.
Considering many criteria, I develop a process that makes possible the food storage in cans (called apertisation) in 1795, 60 years before Louis Pasteur and the « pasteurisation ». In 1802, I create the first can factory of the world in Massy with 50 female employees.
In 1806, I presente for the first time ever my cans the French product industry fair, but the jury don’t even mention my dicovery.
In 1809, following one of my mails, the interior Minister named Montalivet, gives me the following choice : either I obtain a certificate or I offer what I discover to everyone and I receive a Government price. I choose the 2nd solution. I wanted the world to enjoy my discovery instead of having money. The comission gives me a total of 12.000 francs (around 8.000€ ). In June, I publish 6 000 copies of « L’art de conserver plusieurs années toutes les substances animales et végétales » (The art of storing many years animals and herbal substances »). 3 issues will follow in 1811, 1813 and 1816.
Ever since, my storage method is imitated by the British without any financial compensation. The decline of Napoleon’s imperial Navy reduces clearlythe amount of cans production for long trips and for wars. The growing competition with the British, helped with an easy access to tin cans known to have a better quality and for being a lot cheaper, caused my loss.
At 91 years old, I am a widow, without money I can afford a grave, I dye on June 1st 1841, in Massy where my body is dropped into the communal grave.
Où le trouver aujourd’hui :
- Birth Home, 16 place Saint Jean.
- Nicolas Appert Statue, place Sainte-Croix. Set up in 1991, a bronze statue by the artist Jean-Robert Ipousteguy.
16 place Saint-Jean
Statue Nicolas Appert