DECEMBER 13 - Today in Food History
• Ice Cream and Violins Day
• St. Jose's Day, patron of harvests.
On this day in:
1779 The Smithfield Cattle and Sheep Society held the first Smithfield Show in London. It is now the leading agriculture show in the UK.
1813 Antoine Augustin Parmentier died (born Aug 12, 1737). French agronomist. Promoted the potato as a food source and instrumental in gaining its acceptance in France.
1816 John Adamson of Boston, Massachusetts, received a patent for a 'Floating Dry Dock', for the repair of canal boats.
1827 Giovanni (John) Del-Monico, Swiss wine merchant, and his brother Pietro (Peter) open Delmonico & Brother Café at 23 William St. in Manhattan, New York City.
1838 Pierre-Marie-Alexis Millardet was born. A French botanist, he saved the vineyards of France from total destruction by the grape phylloxera, a small greenish-yellow insect which sucks the fluid from grapevines. He did so by grafting the French vines on American rootstock, which was resistant to phylloxera. He also developed the first widely used plant fungicide.
1844 John Henry Patterson was born (died May 7, 1922). Founder of National Cash Register Company.
1856 Charles Dickens wrote in 'Household Words,' "Aluminum may probably send tin to the right about face, drive copper saucepans into penal servitude, and blow up German-silver sky high into nothing." He was pretty accurate in his prediction, even though aluminum had only been discovered in 1808, and had only been used commercially since 1854.
1884 Percy Everitt patented a coin operated scale.
1950 James Dean appears in a Pepsi Cola commercial, his first paid acting job. (video below)
1970 Neil Simon's 'The Gingerbread Lady' opened on Broadway.
1981 'Pigmeat' Markham died. American actor, comedian. ("Here comes the Judge.").
2010 U.S. President Barack Obama signed into law the $4.5 billion Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, authorizing funding for federal school meal and child nutrition programs and increased access to healthy food for low-income children.