Nicolas Appert (17 November 1749 – 1 June 1841), was born in Châlons-en-Champagne and was the French inventor of airtight food preservation. Appert, known as the "father of canning," was a confectioner.
In 1800, Napoleon Bonaparte offered an award of 12,000 francs to anyone who could devise a practical method for food preservation for armies on the march; hie is widely noted as saying "An army marches on its stomach". After some 14 or 15 years of experiment, Appert submitted his invention and won the prize in 1810. The following year, Appert published L'Art de conserver les substances animales et végétales (or The Art of Preserving Animal and Vegetable Substancess). This was the first cookbook of its kind on modern food preservation methods.
The House of Appert became the first commercial cannery in the world, nearly 100 years before Louis Pasteur proved that heat killed bacteria. Appert patented his invention and established a business to preserve a variety of food in sealed bottles. Appert's method was to fill thick, large-mouthed glass bottles with produce of every description, ranging from beef, fowl, eggs, milk, and prepared dishes (according to sources). His greatest success for publicity was an entire sheep. He left air space at the top of the bottle, and the cork would then be sealed firmly in the jar by using a vise. The bottle was then wrapped in canvas to protect it, while it was dunked into boiling water and then boiled for as much time as Appert deemed appropriate for cooking the contents thoroughly.