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How Salt Works
Prior to industrialization, it was extremely expensive and labor-intensive to harvest the mass quantities of salt necessary for food preservation and seasoning. This made salt an extremely valuable commodity. Entire economies were based on salt production and trade.
In the Iron Age, the British evaporated salt by boiling seawater or brine from salt springs in small clay pots over open fires. Roman salt-making entailed boiling the seawater in large lead-lined pans. Salt was used as currency in ancient Rome, and the roots of the words "soldier" and "salary" can be traced to Latin words related to giving or receiving salt. During the Middle Ages, salt was transported along roads built especially for that purpose. One of the most famous of these roads is the Old Salt Route in Northern Germany, which ran from the salt mines to shipping ports.
Salt taxes and monopolies have led to wars and protests everywhere from China to parts of Africa. Anger over the salt tax was one of the causes of the French Revolution. In colonial India, only the British government could produce and profit from the salt production conducted by Indians living on the coast. Gandhi chose to protest this monopoly in March 1930 and marched for 23 days with his followers. When he arrived on the coast, Gandhi violated the law by boiling a chunk of salty mud. This march became known as the Salt March to Dandi, or the Salt Satyagraha. People across India began making their own salt in protest, and the march became an important milestone in the struggle for Indian independence.
Salt production also played a significant role in early America. The Massachusetts Bay Colony held the first patent to produce salt in the colonies and continued to produce it for the next 200 years. The Erie Canal was opened primarily to make salt transportation easier, and during the Civil War, the Union captured significant Confederate saltworks and created a temporary salt shortage in the Confederate states. It continues to be important to the economies of many states, including Ohio, Louisiana and Texas].
Aside from economics, salt also has cultural and religious significance. It has long been used in Shintoism to purify things, and Buddhists use salt to repel evil. In Judeo-Christian traditions, salt was used to purify people and objects, as an offering, and to seal covenants. There are numerous references to salt in the Old and New Testaments of the Bible. One of the most famous is Lot's wife, who was turned into a pillar of salt in Genesis after disobeying God's command. A rock-salt pillar that stands today on Mount Sodom is known as "Lot's Wife."
There are lots of sayings related to the use of salt. It was often traded for slaves, which is the origin of the expression "not worth his salt." Someone who is the "salt of the earth" is a dependable, unpretentious person. "Salting the earth," on the other hand, refers to an ancient military practice of plowing fields with salt so that no crops could be grown.
The Great Salt Lake has been a popular recreation site since the earliest days of white settlement, and a number of resorts have been built on its shores since the first two were constructed in 1870. The most popular and the best-remembered resort was the early Saltair. An important cultural symbol, it is deeply imbedded in Utah’s history and has long interested artists, essayists, folklorists, and historians.
In 1893 the Mormon church built Saltair on the south shore of the Great Salt Lake, about sixteen miles from downtown Salt Lake City. They also built the railroad connecting the resort with the city. The church owned the resort until 1906, at which time it was sold to a group of private Mormon businessmen. The architect of Saltair was Richard K. A. Kletting, perhaps Utah’s foremost architect at the turn of the century and the designer of the Utah State Capitol building.
In building Saltair the Mormon church had two major objectives: in the words of Mormon apostle Abraham H. Cannon, they wanted to provide “a wholesome place of recreation” under church control for Mormons and their families and they also intended that Saltair be a “Coney Island of the West” to help demonstrate that Utah was not a strange place of alien people and customs. This was part of a larger movement toward accommodation with American society that had begun in the early 1890s as church leaders made a conscious decision to bring the church into the mainstream of American life. Saltair was to be both a typical American amusement park and a place that provided a safe environment for Mormon patrons. Those goals were somewhat incompatible, and in less than a decade the second had clearly triumphed at the expense of the first. Nonetheless, initially Saltair signified the Mormon church’s intention to join the world while at the same time trying to minimize its influence and avoid its excesses.
Saltair opened on Memorial Day 1893, and was officially dedicated on 8 June. Its main attractions were always swimming in the Great Salt Lake, where people could bob around like corks, thanks to its 25 percent salt content, and dancing on what was advertised as the world’s largest dance floor but the resort always had a wide range of other attractions. They included a roller coaster, a merry-go-round, a ferris wheel, midway games, bicycle races, touring vaudeville companies, rodeos, bullfights, boat rides on the lake, fireworks displays, and hot-air balloons.
Saltair reached the peak of its popularity in the early 1920s when it was attracting nearly a half-million people a year. However, in April 1925 it burned to the ground. Raymond J. Ashton and Raymond L. Evans designed a new pavilion along the general lines of the original one, and it was built the next year, but the resort never regained its former popularity. During the 1930s it had to battle the effects of the Great Depression high maintenance costs as winds and salt spray ate away at wood and paint a $100,000 fire in 1931 and receding lake levels, which in 1933 left it a half mile from the water. Saltair closed down during World War II. It reopened with high hopes after the war but continued to struggle, and it closed for good after the 1958 season. During the 1960s efforts to save it failed, and it stood forlorn and abandoned until fire destroyed it in November 1970.
In 1981 a new pavilion was built near the site of the original. It opened in July 1982, but struggled to survive as the lake first reached its highest level in history by 1984, putting the pavilion’s main floor under five feet of water. In the late 1980s the water began to recede.
In the fall of 1992, the Great Salt Lake Land Company, headed by Salt Lake attorney and real estate developer Walter Plumb, bought the resort. Over the next six months the new owners restored the structure and added a concert stage where they intended to present local and national artists. It opened on 8 June 1993—Saltair’s one hundredth anniversary.
A brief history of salt
Salt has become an inexpensive and readily available commodity that most of us take for granted. But in older times salt was heavily taxed and wars were fought over it. In some ancient civilizations, salt was in such high demand that it was actually minted into coins to serve as the basic currency.
Where salt was scarce, it became as valuable as gold. As the Roman stateman Cassiodorus observed, “Some seek not gold, but there lives not a man who does not need salt.” Salt was traded ounce-per-ounce with gold – if that were still the case we’d have to pay $300-$400 per ounce of salt!
Because everyone, rich and poor, craves salt, rulers going back at least as far as the Chinese emperor Yu in 2200 B.C. have tried mightily to control and tax it. Salt taxes helped finance empires throughout Europe and Asia, but also inspired a lively black market, smuggling rings, riots, and even revolutions.
Pure salt consists of the elements sodium and chlorine. Its chemical name is sodium chloride and its formula is NaCl. Its mineral name is halite.
Table salt is a chemically simple combination of two components, sodium and chlorine. The basic components of salt are, by themselves, potentially dangerous. Sodium will ignite immediately if it comes into contact with water, and chlorine is poisonous if ingested. In combination, though, the two elements form sodium chloride, commonly known as salt.
The Human Side of Salt
In the body, salt is as important to humans as water or air, in fact each of us contain from four to eight ounces of salt. Salt helps maintain the normal volume of blood in the body and also helps keep the correct balance of water in and around the cells and tissues. It is also necessary for the formation and proper function of nerve fibers, which carry impulses to and from the brain, and plays an important part in the digestion of food and is essential in making the heart beat correctly.
The sodium found in salt is an essential nutrient. Sodium, together with calcium, magnesium and potassium, helps regulate the body’s metabolism. In combination with potassium, it regulates the acid-alkaline balance in our blood and is also necessary for proper muscle functioning. When we don’t get enough sodium chloride, we experience muscle cramps, dizziness, exhaustion and, in extreme cases, convulsions and death. Salt is essential to our well being.
For years, many researchers have claimed that salt threatens public health, mostly by contributing to high blood pressure. Recently, though, other researchers have begun to change salt’s reputation. A recent review of salt studies conducted over the past two decades concluded that there’s no reason for doctors to recommend reducing sodium intake for people with normal blood pressure. It may be that most of us are protected from excessive salt by our kidneys, which regulate the body’s sodium level and eliminate any excess.
Salt as a Healing Agent
Salt cures aren’t new. In the early 19th Century, sick people traveled to rudimentary spas such as French Lick Springs in Indiana and Big Bone Lick, Kentucky, to soak in salt springs. Today’s more luxurious spas offer salt baths, glows, rubs and polishes to exfoliate dead skin, stimulate circulation and relieve stress.
The Source of Salt
All salts come from a sea, but not all salts come from the oceans we know today. The oceans that once covered the earth left a generous supply of salt beds and underground deposits which provide pure salt unpolluted by modern mankind. Crystaline salt deposits are found on every continent, from oceans that contained an estimated four-and-a-half million cubic miles of salt.
There are two basic methods for removing salt from the ground: room-and-pillar mining and solution mining. In room-and-pillar mining, shafts are sunk into the ground, and miners break up the rock salt with drills. The miners remove chunks of salt, creating huge rooms that are separated by pillars of salt. The room-and-pillar method requires that about half the salt be left behind as pillars. In solution mining, a well is drilled into the ground, and two pipes are lowered into the hole. The pipes consist of a small central pipe inside a larger pipe. The brine is either shipped as a liquid or evaporated in special devices called vacuum pans to form solid salt.
Salt’s Many Uses
Only about five percent of the world’s annual salt production ends up as seasoning at the dinner table. The vast majority pours into chemical plants, where it leads the five major raw materials utilized by industry: salt, sulfur, limestone, coal and petroleum.
Salt pickles cucumbers, helps pack meat, can vegetables, cure leather, make glass, bread, butter, cheese, rubber and wood pulp. Salt has some 14,000 uses, more than any other mineral.
Salt is essential. In humans, it is a basic component of taste, along with sweet, sour and bitter.
During the lifetime of the average American, he or she will use:
- 750 pounds of zinc
- 800 pounds of lead
- 1,500 pounds of copper
- 3,600 pounds of aluminum
- 26,000 pounds of clay
- 28,000 pounds of salt
- 33,000 pounds of iron
- 365,000 pounds of coal
- 1,240,000 pounds of sand, gravel and cement
In Your Kitchen
In cooking, salt acts as more than seasoning, pulling flavors together and accenting them. As a dry crystal, it preserves meat and fish by drawing out the moisture. It also acts as a meat tenderizer. It can be employed in a dough that is wrapped around meat or fish and turns into a flavor-sealing crust as it bakes.
Not all salt is the same. The ordinary table salt that most of us eat is too refined it lacks the minerals we need. Also, yellow prussiate of soda and other additives and preservatives are added to prevent caking, dextrose is even added to improve flavor. About half of all table salt is supplemented with potassium iodide, which wards off goiter. RealSalt contains 50 natural occurring trace minerals like calcium, potassium, sulphur, magnesium, iron, phosphorus, manganese, copper, iodine and zinc.
E nanea at SALT.
Named after the pa‘akai (‘Ōlelo Hawai‘i for “salt”) ponds that once dotted the low-lying wetlands of this area, SALT at Our Kaka‘ako is Honolulu’s epicenter for local culture, food, shopping and innovative events. Comprising of 85,000 square-feet of curated retail, restaurant and mixed-use space, SALT is a dynamic city block designed for exploration and engagement. SALT is the 2018 winner of the Shopping Center of the Year (SCOTY) award, presented by the International Council of Shopping Centers.
KAMEHAMEHA SCHOOLS’ MISSION
With Great Purpose
In 1884, Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop left a precious gift to her people – 375,000 acres of ancestral land to be used for the purpose of educating her people. The great-granddaughter and last direct descendant of King Kamehameha I, Princess Pauahi had witnessed the decline of the Hawaiian population and determined – with great foresight and vision – that education would be the key to its survival. Today, her endowment continues to effectively serve thousands of Hawaiian learners, in Hawaiʻi and beyond, through Kamehameha Schools, a private charitable educational trust. The enduring mission of Kamehameha Schools is to improve the capability and well-being of Native Hawaiians through education.
While the majority of the endowed land that funds Kamehameha Schools is dedicated to agriculture and conservation, 29 acres are located in urban Honolulu, home to SALT at Our Kakaʻako. SALT, a project of Kamehameha Schools, was born of the desire to serve the growing urban neighborhood of Our Kakaʻako with a quality collection of stores, restaurants and businesses – many locally owned – while helping to advance the financial goals of the trust. SALT, along with other KS commercial real estate projects, helps fund mission-critical educational programs statewide.
SALT at Our Kakaʻako is proud to reflect the rich history of the endowed land on which it is built. From a time when early Hawaiian communities saw tremendous value in the area’s salt ponds to today’s contemporary, thriving Our Kakaʻako landscape, the land continues to serve its people with great purpose.
Salt Origins in Early Europe
Archaeologists recently discovered a salt mining town in Bulgaria they believe to be the earliest known town established in Europe. Named Solnitsata, the town is at least 6,000 years old and was built more than 1,000 years before the beginnings of the Greek civilization. Historically, salt production at the site may have begun as early as 5400 BCE, according to archaeologists.
Solnitsata would have been a very wealthy settlement, supplying highly sought after salt to much of what is the modern-day Balkans. This once again underlines the value and importance of salt in the history of the earliest human civilizations.
In the following centuries of early European history, the ancient Greeks traded heavily in salt and salted products like fish, particularly with the Phoenicians and Egyptians. The expansion of the early Roman Empire also had its origins in establishing trade routes for vital commodities such as salt to be brought back to Rome.
One of the most widely traveled of these was the ancient road known as Via Salaria (the salt route). It ran from Porta Salaria in the north of Italy to Castrum Truentinum on the Adriatic Sea in the south, a distance of more than 240 km (
In face, the word Salzburg, a city in Austria, translates to ‘salt city.’ It was also an important center of salt trade in ancient Europe. Today, the Hallstatt salt mine near Salzburg is still open and considered the world’s oldest operational salt mine.
Pa Salt - History
I definitely think it could be Pa Salt on the ship. He would be at least 29 if not 30 and it does say he’s “prematurely” grey. Did he suffer some terrible war experience or other tragedy (losing Elle?) that has turned him grey overnight?
My original theory was that Elle was Pa Salt’s sister and that she was who he had been looking for all along and in his search around the world for her (Norway, the UK, US, Australia, Brazil) he had come across the six baby girls he had adopted. When Elle was first introduced, Karine said she was French born and along with her baby brother had been orphaned in the war, with her brother having been adopted. I thought somehow things had gone wrong with his adoption and he’d ended up a runaway in Paris, rescued by Bel and taken in by the Landowski family, and been on a mission to find his true family (his sister) ever since, retracing her footsteps around the globe in his search for her.
But that was before I realised it was more likely that Bo was Pa Salt/Mr Tanit and Elle was his girlfriend/wife. There are several mentions of a Mrs Tanit in two of the books but interestingly Georg Hoffman, the lawyer, tells Maia that as far as he knew Pa Salt had never married. In the Storm Sister Bo and Elle pretend to be married. They “long to be married for real but need to save up so first must live a lie” although Bo says the truth belongs in the heart not on paper.”
It’s certainly intriguing. I’m going back to re-read the series from the start to see what I have missed and try and piece it all together.
I think Pa Salt is also Zed's dad - and is Eszu whose wife died young and left a small boy - I think this is the case and he tried to do good - but that will explain his money and also the link - and the infatuation with Zed over the girls - what do you think?
In The Seven Sisters, Maia talks of the things in Pa Salt's study:
These were simple objects that he’d told me he’d collected during his constant travels around the world – amongst other things, a delicate gilt-framed miniature of the Madonna, which could fit in the palm of my hand, an old fiddle, a battered leather pouch and a tattered book by an English poet I’d never heard of.
An old fiddle was played by the little French boy in Paris in 1928-1929
A battered leather pouch was the little French boy's sole possession from when Bel found him in 1928.
The Madonna and the English poet don't seem to relate back to anything we've seen. They also don't clearly relate back to any of the sisters' histories. They're pretty broad clues, and suggest potential Christian and/or poetry backgrounds.
I wonder if the English poet could have been Julius Woodhead - the guy that Cecily slept with when she was staying in England? He seems pretty irrelevant compared to the other possessions, but quite significant to Cecily given he was the father of her stillborn child?
If that's the case, that still leaves the Madonna.
I have just finished reading The Sun Sister and there is also a Mr Tanit and his French wife mentioned briefly in there in New York in the mid 1940s who meet one of Electra’s step relatives. I knew I had heard the name before in the series but couldn’t remember which book so googled it and found your post. Mr Tanit and his wife are mentioned returning to England so that all fits with your theory. In the Pearl Sister I think I’ve found another clue to who Pa Salt might have been. Kitty is returning on a ship to Australia in 1949. She sees a gaunt grey haired man, panic on his face, on the ship when they are leaving. He asks where is she, she was meant to meet me. He asks kitty if she has seen a blonde haired woman boarding the ship. Oh god where are you he screamed to the wind. Looked like an army boy with prematurely grey hair and haunted eyes. This could be Pa Salt looking for Elle. Kitty meets Sarah on the boat who has a friend down in steerage who cries a lot. I wondered if that again was Pa Salt. Somewhere else I’m sure I read that he went to Broome looking for a relative. His wife, his daughter, his own sister maybe? Or even a son? The little 5 yr old orphan Eddie on the ship with Sarah, who was later adopted by Kitty’s half brother Ralph, would fit the right age for a child of the Tanits. Like Bo, he doesn’t say much. When Kitty first saw Ralph she “wondered if she was seeing a replica of her father”. Maybe, that’s why Cece thinks she sees Pa Salt at the airport and Star thinks she sees him at Ally’s concert - maybe they are seeing his lookalike son?! Just one of my many theories which will probably turn out to be wrong. I can’t wait for the big reveal next year!
I love your Pa Salt in the Pearl Sister theory! Iɽ ignored that one because I thought that mid-late 20s would be too early for him to have grey hair. But the other stuff seems to fit almost too perfectly to not be right. Given they were in the south east of England, it fits perfectly with the timeframe as well. Now I don't know how I missed it!
I wonder if she was running away from him. It continues to fit with the narrative from Marina in The Sun Sister that he always loved someone else.
The thing about the son is also an awesome theory. Is it too confusing though? It doesn't fit with the missing sister, the weird circumstances of his death, or the Eszu Kreeg stuff. Only time will tell I guess.
Ok, so here's my theory so far. I know it has a lot of holes in it, maybe someone here can help me pick it apart:
Assuming Mr & Mrs Tanit are Pa Salt and his wife, the woman with an infant crying hysterically on the dock observed by Kitty in the Pearl sister is Mrs Tanit. Mrs Tanit had an affair or was raped by Kreeg Eszu, and the baby is the result. They decided to get on the ship to Australia to escape Eszu, only make plans via letters or phone, because Mrs Tanit had to go away somewhere under some pretense to have the baby. Mrs Tanit is prevented from boarding for some reason, or chooses not to go, maybe because of guilt that the baby is not her husband's. Mr Tanit ends up travelling the seas for the rest of his life searching for his lost wife, never knowing she had a child.
The baby grows up to be Marina and ends up in the employ of Pa Salt, or is planted there by the Eszus. She is actually Zed's half sister.
Pa Salt didn't die in 2007 but was abducted by the Eszu's with Marina's help and is imprisoned in the secret cellar, but they make it look like he died with Marina's help. He had figured out he was in danger of being killed or abducted in the time before and decided to put his affairs in order, and wrote the letters to all the girls.
He manages to somehow escape the cellar occasionally, or has a helper, so that he can secretly follow the girls to watch over them. Or he has a brother whom he has tasked to look out for the girls, and this is whom they catch glimpses of.
Kreeg Eszu didn't actually commit suicide, but was killed by Zed, who used the Titan to escape.
Christian is somehow involved, Electra smells Pa Salt's lemony fragrance in his car in Paris.
In the last book, the girls, together with Georg Hoffmann, find Pa Salt along with Merope and rescue him or he rescues himself.
Thanks for posting this, you've clearly been thinking hard about it!
It's quite hard to pick apart, so a good solid theory.
Where is Elle in all of this? What if she died, Pa Salt somehow found out, and adopted/employed Marina, knowing she was the last part of her left?
Are there any Greek myths about Zeus having a child with Atlas' wife? Or anything relevant that might support this? There's lots about Zeus and the seven sisters, so it's possible.
What if Marina was on Pa Salt's side rather than the Eszu's? Could she have arranged for Pa Salt to go into hiding, knowing that there was going to be Eszu stuff going on? Christian is also in on it, so can drive him around in secret, and he comes and goes from his basement as he pleases.
Could Merope be Marina's child, adopted without Pa Salt's knowledge, but who he always knew existed? What if her child was adopted by Kreeg, wanting to get her back after losing Marina to Pa Salt, and Kreeg dying presents him with an opportunity to get her back?
Why would Zed kill Kreeg? To get his inheritance? How did he cover it up as suicide? Pa Salt's boat was in the area at the time, could he have simply found out something that drove him to kill himself?
Excellent work though, this is great!
Just finished re-reading The Storm Sister. One thing I had forgotten was that Bo hurt his elbow (dislocated and compound fracture) while jumping out of the burning house in Leipzig. Does anyone remember any reference to Pa Salt having trouble with an elbow because of an old injury as old breaks often do? This would confirm Bo as being Pa Salt.
Pa Salt found Elle after searching for her since 1949. She was and still is running or hiding from someone or something, perhaps Kreeg Eszu. Pa wants to be with Elle, but can't do so openly, because it would put her in danger of being found, so he starts making preparations for his own death but also continue being a father to his daughters. He has the secret lift installed, writes the letters to his daughters, essentially puts his affairs in order, and involves his staff in his plan to "die" but secretly actually disappear and go live with Elle. He sends Maia away to visit her friend in London to make sure she doesn't see anything, then fakes his own death and leaves Atlantis. He continues to come and go in secret with his staff's help and lives between the secret hiding place with Elle and the secret cellar at Atlantis. He has high tech security and computers in his study to allow him to do so without being detected.
When Ally saw the Titan, Pa was on it, but he couldn't be seen because he was supposed to be dead, so he has to get away fast. Perhaps Kreeg Eszu arranged to meet Pa Salt in the Greek isles under some pretense, because he has found out out where Elle is and wants to get the information out of Pa. When Pa realises that Elle is in danger, he kills Kreeg, or maybe a fight ensues that ends in Kreeg accidentally falling overboard.
There is a link to Kreeg Eszu's communications empire and Pa Salt's state of the art computers in his study, and most likely Kreeg's death as well. Assume this is all related to Pa's secret hide out location and his secret cellar, perhaps Kreeg's people had hacked into Pa's system and threatened Elle's safety.
Zed knew about his father's plan and wants to find Elle. That's why he turns up in Geneva right after his "death" and wants to meet Maia, to try and get some information out of her, or to get access to Atlantis.
Salt - HISTORY
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Salt (NaCl), sodium chloride, mineral substance of great importance to human and animal health, as well as to industry. The mineral form halite, or rock salt, is sometimes called common salt to distinguish it from a class of chemical compounds called salts.
Properties of common salt are shown in the table . Salt is essential to the health of both people and animals. Table salt, used universally as a seasoning, is fine-grained and of high purity. To ensure that this hygroscopic (i.e., water-attracting) substance will remain free-flowing when exposed to the atmosphere, small quantities of sodium aluminosilicate, tricalcium phosphate, or magnesium silicate are added. Iodized salt—that is, salt to which small quantities of potassium iodide have been added—is widely used in areas where iodine is lacking from the diet, a deficiency that can cause swelling of the thyroid gland, commonly called goitre. Livestock also require salt it is often made available in solid blocks.
The meat-packing, sausage-making, fish-curing, and food-processing industries use salt as a preservative or seasoning or both. It is employed for curing and preserving hides and as a brine for refrigeration.
In the chemical industry, salt is required in the manufacture of sodium bicarbonate (baking soda), sodium hydroxide (caustic soda), hydrochloric acid, chlorine, and many other chemicals. Salt is also employed in soap, glaze, and porcelain enamel manufacture and enters into metallurgical processes as a flux (a substance promoting fusing of metals).
When applied to snow or ice, salt lowers the melting point of the mixture. Thus, large amounts are used in northern climates to help rid thoroughfares of accumulated snow and ice. Salt is used in water-softening equipment that removes calcium and magnesium compounds from water.
The first written reference to salt is found in the Book of Job, recorded about 2,250 BC. There are 31 other references to salt in the Bible, the most familiar probably being the story of Lot’s wife who was turned into a pillar of salt when she disobeyed the angels and looked back at the wicked city of Sodom.
From ancient times to the present, the importance of salt to humans and animals has been recognized. Thousands of years ago, animals created paths to salt licks, and men followed seeking game and salt. Their trails became roads and beside the roads settlements grew. These settlements became cities and nations.
Ancient Britons carried their crude salt by pack train from Cheshire to Southern England where they often were forced to delay their journey until the high tides of the Thames River subsided. A village known as Westminster grew up there and Westminster became London.
Salt has greatly influenced the political and economic history of the world. Every civilization has had its salt lore – fascinating superstitions and legends that have been handed down, sometimes reverently and sometimes with tongue-in-cheek. The purifying quality of salt has made it a part of the rituals in some religious ceremonies.
“He is not worth his salt” is a common expression. It originated in ancient Greece where salt was traded for slaves.
Roman soldiers were paid “salt money,” salarium argentum, from which we take our English word, “salary”.
The early Greeks worshipped salt no less than the sun, and had a saying that “no one should trust a man without first eating a peck of salt with him” (the moral being that by the time one had shared a peck of salt with another person, they would no longer be strangers).
The widespread superstition that spilling salt brings bad luck is believed to have originated with the overturned salt cellar in front of Judas Iscariot at the Last Supper, an incident immortalized in Leonardo Da Vinci’s famous painting.
According to an old Norwegian superstition, a person will shed as many tears as will be necessary to dissolve the salt spilled. An old English belief has it that every grain of salt spilled represents future tears. The Germans believe that whoever spills salt arouses enmity, because it is thought to be the direct act of the devil, the peace disturber. The French throw a little spilled salt behind them in order to hit the devil in the eye, to temporarily prevent further mischief. In the United States, some people not only toss a pinch of spilled salt over the left shoulder, but crawl under the table and come out the opposite side.
The United States has had its battles over salt. In 1777, Lord Howe made a successful attempt to capture General Washington’s stock of salt. Many battles and treaties took place before Western salt licks were free to be used by settlers.During the War of 1812 with England, it became very difficult to obtain salt from abroad. Because of this, commercial production of salt began in Syracuse, New York.
Transporting salt has always been a problem because it is bulky and low priced. Syracuse salt was brought to Chicago by way of the old Erie Canal and the Great Lakes. As early as 1848, the canal was known as “the ditch that salt built.” Today, Morton has solved many of the transportation problems by having salt plants located across North America.
When the fishing industry grew, so did the demand for salt. During the 1930’s the demand for salt was so great, that merchants had to find new ways to meet the need for this increased demand.
In the 1920’s and 30’s, Suðuroy was a progressive island indeed just about half of the Faroese fleet belonged to Suðuroy. Even though only 12 – 15 % of the total population of the Faroe Islands lived on the island.
An estimate of 15-20.000 tons of salt was imported in 1930. From places like Sfax: Tunesia and Ibiza: Spain. This was backbreaking labour, because every kilo had to be manually shovelled into the carts.
One of the owners of the salt productions in Sfax, “Compagnie Commerciale des Sels Marins”, who was located in Paris, France, decided it was time to make some modern changes to the North Atlantic, and thus, the salt silos started to become a reality. One was to be built in the Faroe Islands, one in the south of Iceland and one more in Northern Norway.
The salt silo was designed by a French architect, but the name has yet to be discovered, we are still trying to hunt him down (so to speak).
Danish engineers “ C.G. Jensen” were in charge of the technical preparations and the economics and supplied the accountants for the construction of the silo. The silo had a capacity of 10.000 tonnes of salt and on the shipping floor they were able to shift 50 – 100 Tonnes/Hour.Construction started in 1937 and was complete a year later in 1938, the floor was over 1.000 m2, and was 25m tall, the conveyor belts were about 110m long. So this was by far, the largest industrial planning in the country.
On the 8th of February 1939, the 1st ship to make use of the silo was the “Slupp” (Sloop, a single-masted sailboat with only one headsail) “Godthaab”, owned by N.J. Mortensen, Tvøroyri. It took them only one hour to supply the ship with salt, which would otherwise have taken them about two working days to complete, so, this was a great engineering accomplishment.
World War II.
On a beautiful day on the 9th of October, 1941, a German airplane came flying low and slowly along the fjord, and people (witnesses are still alive today to confirm this story) could see the crew of the bomber.
9 men were working at the salt silo this day, and they didn’t like the look of these uninvited German guests, so the evacuated the building.
at pm 3:15, all hell broke loose, they had bombed a big pile of coal just west of the silo. And at the same time there was another explosion! The silo was hit directly in the center of the floor. So the whole roof was blown clean off and there was a huge column of salt reaching the sky.
The bomber crew were not satisfied quite yet! The opened machine gun fire on two boys who were playing near the pile of coal who had managed to find cover in a ditch during the bombing. They got away scot free, but were deafened for several days.
And just like that, all was quiet and the silo looked like a giant whale carcass, but the men who worked there wanted to salvage the arches and fastened wires. But there was a powerful storm on the 7th of February 1944 and the silo had to succumb to the elements and all the arches broke of and collapsed, all except the 3 Northernmost arches. (but one of them was severely damaged, so had to be taken down, but the other 2 are still up to this day)