Inventor and Philanthropist Ray Townsend Dies «

Inventor and Philanthropist Ray Townsend Dies

Des Moines, Iowa, inventor and philanthropist, Ray Townsend, known for inventions in the meat industry, died on April 2 2011. Townsend was ninety-seven years old.

Townsend founded Townsend Engineering in 1940. He patented more than one hundred and twenty-seven inventions, including a device that stripped skin from pork called the Townsend Model 27, and a machine that produced linked hot dogs called the Frank-a-Matic. Most of the hot dogs produced in the United States were made with a Ray Townsend machine. Ray Townsend is credited with inventing the first pork belly skinner, first conveyorized skinner, first automatic sausage linker, first low-pressure injector, first automatic trimmer with light sensor technology,and the first continuous casing system.

In 2005, Ray Townsend retired to become a philanthropist. His charity projects included the founding of the Great Ape Trust of Iowa, an education and conservation center. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images


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