Harper's New Monthly Magazine,  8 (1884), 292–302.

Beef. From the Range to the Shambles

G Pomeroy Keese


Essay, Travelogue


Agriculture, Animal Husbandry, Nutrition, Breeding, Acclimatization, Technology

    In an article full of 'advice to those who wish to become thoroughly posted [...] in the cattle business' (299), observes that 'Change of temperature and of climate has [...] produced a marked impression upon the Texas steer, after being for a few years transplanted to a more temperate zone. The nutritious grasses of Wyoming and Montana, combined with the fresh and vigorous air, give even to the beef of a southern-bred bovine an improved flavour and quality; while the great attention recently paid by stock-growers to the introduction of the best-blooded animals has already been instrumental in raising the grade of entire herds now roaming over the northern ranges' (292). Also notes that in the railway transportation of bovine carcasses from the slaughter-houses in Chicago 'science comes to the aid of mechanical skill with the most perfect adaptation of a means to an end'. Indeed, it 'does not seem possible to improve' on the '"refrigerator" cars' which employ an 'ice compartment [...] in the forward end' that distributes 'a cool current of air' around the hollow sides of the carriage without allowing it to actually enter the 'apartment where the meat is hung'. Thus the meat 'while never allowed to freeze, is chilled to the proper point of preservation'. (298)

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