Pass the Salt

When we make that common request, we rarely think of the overwhelming influence salt has played in our history.    In ancient times, salt was highly valued and its production was legally restricted  because it was used as a means to pay for goods and services.  We got the  word ‘salary’ from this use.

Salt was also highly prized, as a food preservative.

In fact, the United States began as a British colony because Britain had very little salt..  In the late 1500’s and early 1600’s, fishermen from Spain, France and Britain all converged on the rich fishing area os the Grand Banks,  just off shore  from Virginia to Newfoundland.  The Portuguese, Spanish and  French fishermen quickly filled their boats with cod, flounder and red fish packed  in salt to preserve them for the long trip home.

The British were not so lucky.  With only limited amounts of the precious preservative, they had to resort to the secondary method for  keeping the fish edible: sprinkling them with a  small amount of salt and then spreading them out to dry on wooden frames  – a process called dunning. Only when the drying was fully complete, could they head for home. This was a slow process and these dunning camps became temporary, then, permanent settlements.  America’s first independent settlement, Strawbery Banke is a direct outgrowth of camps along the shores near the river between what is now Maine and New Hampshire.

Even today, salt is used to keep food edible for short periods of time, pickled food is commonplace and cattlemen regularly put out salt licks for their animals who live outdoors…

Salt has been a positive element in our lives for millions of years.

Yet, cardiologists and seaside resort owners and residents  know that salt has a nasty side as well.  Especially in hot climates like the Caribbean, salt is a corrosive element that comes with the sea breeze and eats steel, concrete and other construction materials.

For outdoor and patio furniture manufacturers, salt corrosion is an ongoing issue.  The movement to resins in furniture structures has had a positive impact on the longevity and appearance of patio pieces.  So, too, has the development of new cushioning materials such as AirString.  It maintains its bounce back qualities and its resistance to rain and moulds even on the beach.  Our resort owner clients especially appreciate the combination of easy care and long product life.

So, for us, “Pass the salt” means pass it  right by our corrosion resistant cushions.