It’s a wonderful world

P.D. Gwaltney, Jr and the world's oldest ham
P.D. Gwaltney, Jr and the world’s oldest ham

Every time I think about how awful this world is, I stop and think, there must be something that’s wonderful out there for me to discover. Today, it’s the Isle of Wight County Museum, which features as its star exhibit the World’s Oldest Smithfield Ham. Cured in 1902 and forgotten, the ham was rediscovered in a packing house 20 years later by P.D. Gwaltney Jr.

Gwaltney fashioned a brass collar for the ham and took it to shows and expos to exhibit the preservative powers of his smoking method. The ham was featured in Ripley’s “Believe It Or Not” in 1929, 1932 and 2003.

The county museum web site, of course, features a Ham Cam. And there’s a contest to take the picture of Gwaltney and his ham to unusual places this summer: the Pan Ham.

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