It was with great interest that I recently came across an article describing some of Benjamin Franklin's experiments on electricity. Although he was most well-known for his invention of the lightening rod and his work on condensers and batteries, he was never given proper credit for his invention of the process of tenderizing poultry by electrical stimulation.
In correspondence with his English colleagues, Franklin wrote that linking several electrical capacitance jars together allowed him to kill a 10 lb. turkey with a single jolt of high voltage electricity. "I conceit that the birds killed in this manner eat uncommonly tender," he noted.
More than 200 years later, US patents were awarded for "…electrically stimulating poultry carcasses in order to tenderize the poultry meat."
There really isn't very much new under the sun.
Recently, much hue and cry was raised about "enhanced poultry," as if this time-honored brining technique for improving the tenderness of poultry was a new invention of big industry. Brining originated from a method of curing called corning, although it had nothing whatsoever to do with corn. The name comes from Anglo-Saxon times. Meat was cured in coarse "corns" of salt. Pellets of salt, the size of kernels of corn, were rubbed into the beef to keep it from spoiling and to preserve it. It was a means of making tough cuts of beef, particularly briskets, tender prior to storage (since refrigeration was unavailable at the time). Corned beef became such a beloved product that it continues to be made by brining today, even though we all have refrigerators.
As I said, there really isn't very much new under the sun.