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Frying an Egg Over Burning Ice


By Margaret (Peggy) Schott

In this 1926 photograph, three women undergraduate students and their instructor conduct a chemistry experiment – cooking an egg through a chemical reaction with liquid oxygen, which is a pale blue liquid at –183 °C. The original press release reads: "Frying an Egg Over Burning Ice. Using liquid oxygen for fuel, and the hollow of a block of ice for a container, Miss Virginia Trelease, Chemistry student at Northwestern University, Evanston, Ill., is here pictured frying an egg over the unique stove. A cupful of liquid oxygen made in a Heylandt liquefier, which has been used for the first time in America by Northwestern, permits the manufacture of liquid oxygen right in the classroom.” Miss Trelease obtained a Bachelor of Science degree (1928) at Northwestern, as well as a Bachelor of Medicine degree (1933) at the affiliated Women's Medical College.


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