Vol. 1, Issue 4 -- August 1996

Egg Breaker Design Team

By Jane Fee

The eggbreaker team is in a statistic gathering mode. Among their findings is information on eggs and on potential users of an eggbreaking device.

* According to the American Egg Board, shell thickness is related to egg size which, in turn, is related to the hen's age. As the hen ages, her egg size increases. However, the amount of shell material remains the same for all the hen's eggs; the shell material "stretches" more to cover the larger ones. So, the larger the egg, the thinner the shell. In spite of shell thickness, however, egg shells are surprisingly strong under pressure. A large egg can support about nine pounds on its long axis and seven to eight pounds on its short axis. That strength and the inconsistency of eggshell thickness are two of the reasons that the eggbreaker is such a tricky device to design.

With information on eggs on one hand, the team now had to ask, "Who would benefit from an eggbreaker?" The team identified several groups: people with spinal cord injuries, cerebral palsy, arthrogryposis, low vision, and arthritis.

According to the Americans with Disabilities Act, the number of Americans with disabilities is 43 million. Breaking this data down into different types of disabilities, the design team found that the following categories would benefit from the eggbreaking device.

[Statistics from the National Center for Medical Rehabilitation Research, published in The Scope of Physical Disability in America-Population Served.] Of course, some of these groups may overlap, and not all would need an eggbreaker, but the statistics will be used to begin our investigation of possible interest in an eggbreaker.

So far, the statistical data the design team found most interesting is the group of people with arthritis. In 1990, 38 million Americans-or 15% of the population- had arthritis. This year, 40 million Americans have arthritis. And, an increase of 57% over 1990's estimates is predicted for the year 2020.

Obviously, the number of people with arthritis is growing, which could mean increased interest in an eggbreaking device. But, further research is needed to determine how many people would require an eggbreaker.

The design team still needs input from consumers regarding an acceptable cost, desired product features, size and weight. If any of our readers would like to contribute to the market plan for the eggbreaker, please contact us at:

For more information, check out the Egg Breaker Design Team Home Page.