"Homer Mapes"
Inventor of "Mapes Audacious Pork Steak"

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The Poca Post is pleased to announce a commemorative stamp honoring Homer Mapes, inventor of canned meat.

Homer Mapes was born in 1789 in Pliny-on-the-Poca.  He followed in his father's profession as hog farmer.  In 1809 there were more pigs raised than the market could bear.  In late October Mapes enlisted the aid of Orville Kranz, a blacksmith.  Together they devised a manner of making metal containers in which they could pack prepared pork.  By early December they had on the market the first metal canned meat product.

This was, at once, an enormous success in spite of the fact that the cans had to be opened with a hammer and sharp chisel.  By spring they had sold enough of their canned products to be able to enlarge their production. By June, Homer's product, which he called Mapes Audacious Pork Steak (or Maps, for short), was on the shelves of most country and mining company stores.

While the product seemed to keep well enough in the cool, winter weather, the warmth of late June had an undesirable effect on the canned meat.  All up and down the Poca River, cans of Maps began to explode.  Several people were wounded by these ruptures.  Of course, sales came to an abrupt end, and the Mapes Maps Company folded.  However, history will remember Homer Mapes as the inventor of metal canned meat.

The stamp honoring Homer Mapes was issued on 9 September, 2002 in a pane of 16 stamps in the denomination of 74 poca units.


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