Clarence Birdseye II

Clarence Frank Birdseye II was an American inventor who you can thank for some of the most prevalent, taken for granted innovations in use today. We don’t think much about a bag of frozen green beans or about the salmon you just picked up from the grocery store yesterday, but without Dr. Birdseye*, we might not be able to enjoy these things in quite the same way today.

The great Clarence Birdseye, seen here with carrots.

Birdseye invented a process of flash freezing food that was a tremendous step forward for the food industry, allowing food to be frozen without sacrificing quality and therefore transported and stored for longer, allowing for greater profits for producers as well as retailers. The food retained more nutrients and tasted better, making it an easy sell for consumers.

He learned his methods while working with native Inuits in the arctic, who would catch fish from under a thick sheet of ice in tremendously low temperatures. When the fish were caught, they froze almost instantly, and when thawed tasted much fresher than the frozen fish available in his native New York.

This “bird’s eye view” of the process led to his invention and lasting fame.

He patented his process and founded the Birdseye Seafood company, which he then sold for what was then, and what remains now, a giant boatload of money.

A portion of Clarence Birdseye's proceeds for his invention.

*He was not actually a doctor as he never finished his undergraduate degree, but I think it’s fair to grant him this title as a tribute.

About Arto

Co-founder of the Funny Names Blog, Hawaiian shirt enthusiast, and holder of a funny name himself with too many vowels for any sensible person. Currently residing in San Diego, California, scouring through obscure documents on a hunt for more funny names.
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2 Responses to Clarence Birdseye II

  1. Pingback: Return J. Meigs, Jr. « The Blog of Funny Names

  2. Liz says:

    hadn’t realized he was a II. Awesome.

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