Pat Shingleton: "Store-High-In-Transit"
In the 16th and 17th centuries, supplies were transported by ship. One product, needed by agricultural interests was manure. Dry manure, was lighter as “collectors” would bundle the substance and deliver them to nearby port cities for shipping and distribution. The bundles were then stored on ships and positioned below deck for the journey. In the open sea, salt water and storms often soaked cargo in the lower holds. Wet weather returned manure to its original form activating the fermentation process which also increased the production of methane gas. A ship’s lantern, in close proximity to the stowed manure, caused explosions when it interacted with the gas that resulted in the loss of several ships. The British Admiralty investigated these episodes and insisted that sailors stow the manure bundles high enough off the lower decks to prevent contact with rain and water-logging. The decree also insisted that all bundles arriving at the docks before shipment be stamped with the acronym Stow-High-In-Transit. That acronym is widely used today in identifying a variety of substances...
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