Father of frozen food Clarence “Bob” “Bugs” Birdseye was first and foremost a naturalist. Birdseye collected countless insects, opened a taxidermy service in his teens, and worked at the United States Agriculture Department through his early years.
While working with the Inuit in Canada he learned that fish in -40C weather would almost instantly freeze but could be thawed later and retain their freshness. Frozen fish existed before Birdseye but suffered from low quality.
In 1922 he created Birdseye Seafoods to flash-freeze fish. Due to poor marketing, the company quickly went bankrupt in 1924.
Birdseye pivoted from a consumer products company to an equipment manufacturer, selling flash freeze equipment. In 1929, he sold his company to Goldman Sachs and the Potsum Company for $22 million.
He continued working with the business and which eventually became the Birdseye Frozen Food Company, that to this day remains a market leader.
Birdseye died in 1956; he was cremated rather than flash-frozen.