This section is from the book "The Steward's Handbook And Guide To Party Catering", by Jessup Whitehead. Also available from Amazon: Larousse Gastronomique.
Drying eggs in the form of grains of powder has proved practicable but scarcely yet commercially successful, probably through the fear of the public that spoiled eggs may be concealed in the preparation. The experiment can easily be tried by spreading a beaten egg upon a plate and allowing it to dry out; it will leave the plate in brittle crumbs which can then be dissolved in warm water and used. The yolk alone, if dried, cannot be dissolved afterwards unless with the aid of some ehemical admixture. The white alone if dried is easily soluble, and easily kept and after keeping and dissolving in water can be beaten to froth as well as if fresh.
The following is the "Havana process" for keeging eggs, the formula for which has been kept a secret or sold to persons who were willing to pay $2 for it: Take twenty-four gallons of water and put in 12 pounds of unslaked lime and four pounds of salt. Stir well several times a day and then let it stand and settle until perfectly clear. Then draw off twenty gallons of the clear lime and salt water. By putting a spigot in the barrel about four inches above the bottom you can draw off the clear water and leave the settlings. Then take five ounces of baking soda, five ounces cream tartar, five ounces saltpetre, five ounces borax and one ounce of alum; pulverise these, mix and disolve in a gallon of boiling water, which should be poured into your twenty gallons of lime water. This will fill a whisky barrel about half full and such a barrel holds i5odoz. eggs. Let the water stand one inch above the eggs. Cover with old cloth and put a bucket of the settlings over it. As the water evaporates add more, and the eggs must be kept covered. For the ordinary purposes of home consumption the French peasantry have for ages preserved their eggs In a very simple fashion.
They take a wooden case, or a large barrel, and pack them in thick layers of sawdust, fine sand, chalk, bran, cinders, or coal dust, so that they do not touch each other. In the United States we have limed eggs - that is eggs kept in lime water - and pickled eggs - kept in strong brine - so much a matter of course that they are regular market quotations, which shows that they are the most expedient and practicable ways. The eggs are not as good as fresh and the prices are according, still they are good and sometimes form the only available supply of this most necessary article. In experiments with egg-preservatives too little attention seems to be paid to the question of temperature; eggs are like meat and can be kept for an indefinite period in a cold Storage chamber at about the freezing point, without regard to the packing; on the other hand any vegetable packing that may become damp around them will heat and spoil them in a few days. A farmer carried off the prize at a fair for his eggs, preserved for months by only packing in dry bran; if all had been known probably it would have been found that a cold cellar had been the real means of saving them.