Day 4: Henry Garren’s Square Eggs
Dr. Henry Wilburn Garren developed his square egg(s) in 1961, at the Department of Poultry Science of North Carolina State College.
In September 1961, the promotion group got the governor to designate N. C. as the Good Egg State, and, with the help of the college scientists, had hens produce square eggs. This square egg deal got national coverage and the two goals — a personality and national recognition — were met.
American Poultry, 1962
In our two previous posts, college scientists conducted research involving eggs that happened to be rectangular. And we saw how newspapers and magazines made “square eggs” a headline of their stories.
In 1956 Dr. Garren won the “The Poultry Science Association Research Prize” ($100) for his, uh… seminal paper entitled, The Effect of Temperature and Time of Storage on the Fertilizing Capacity of Undiluted Fowl Semen.
Garren clearly had no serious, scientific interest in making “square eggs.” He was simply doing his part to assist North Carolina’s egg industry.
The “North Carolina Egg Marketing Association” correctly surmised that newspapers were goofy about “square egg” stories. And Dr. Garren knew how to produce just such a thing.
How did he do it? First he made a cube shaped “template” of calcium. Then he cracked a (regular) egg and deposited its contents into the cube-shape template. This, he inserted (back?) into the oviduct of the hen. Not so that the hen could re-lay the egg—she couldn’t have. But simply to form an authentic egg shell around the square template. As Dr. Garren explains it, “She’ll put a shell around anything.” (Read more about it, here.)
And, of course, they didn’t just make 1 of these square eggs… [Read more…]