Brown Bag Lecture: “Before Long, This Process Will Be in General Use throughout Europe”: A History of the AIV Method

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Date: May 6, 2014
Time: 12:00 to 1:00 p.m.

315 Chestnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106

Event Type: Open to the Public
Fee: Free
RSVP Online: No Registration Required

A talk by Jarmo Pulkkinen

Invented by Finnish biochemist Artturi Ilmari Virtanen (1895–1973) in 1928, the AIV method is a fodder preservation method based on acidification of fresh fodder below pH 4. It was the first reliable method created to produce good-quality silage. In 1945 this invention earned Virtanen the Nobel Prize in Chemistry. In the early 1930s the AIV method was licensed in over 10 European countries and the United States. However, the method was never to revolutionize the cultivation of fodder and the feeding of cattle as originally envisioned by Virtanen. The diffusion of the AIV method was slowed down by various scientific, economical, technological, and even logistical reasons. In the 1930s and 1940s it was used most notably in Scandinavia and the Netherlands. Moreover, modifications of the AIV method were in use in Germany and the United States. In Finland it was used in its original form until 1968.

Jarmo Pulkkinen has published articles and books on the history of philosophy, physiology, and agriculture. His current project is to write a book-length study on the invention, adoption, and diffusion of the AIV method. He holds a Ph.D. from the University of Oulu, Finland.

About Brown Bag Lectures

Brown Bag Lectures (BBLs) are a series of weekly informal talks on the history of chemistry or related subjects, including the history and social studies of science, technology, and medicine. Based on original research (sometimes still in progress), these talks are given by local scholars for an audience of CHF staff and fellows and interested members of the public.

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