Today in Food History, Timeline & Food Holidays: National Food Days, Weeks & Months

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1790 to 1794

1790 John Bachman was born. A Naturalist who wrote some of the text for John James Audubon's albums of birds and mammals of North America. He also published his own works on botany, agriculture and southern animals.

1790 Benjamin Franklin died. American diplomat, publisher, inventor, etc. Among his inventions were the Franklin stove and bifocal eyeglasses. He also published 'Poor Richard's Almanac.'

1790 The first U.S. copyright law was signed by George Washington.

1790 The first U.S. patent was granted to Samuel Hopkins of Vermont. The patent was for a process for producing potash and pearlash. Potash was used in soap and fertilizer. Pearlash was also used in baking. It produced carbon dioxide gas in dough, used in the first 'quick breads.'  (Commercial baking powder was not available until 1857 [phosphate baking powder]).

1790 First U.S. census. We had a total of 3,939,214 mouths to feed.

1790 Farmer's account for about 90% of the U.S. labor force.

1790 Jacob Schweppe demonstrated his process for making artificial mineral water.

1790 Chrysanthemums were introduced to England from China. Both the greens and blossoms are edible, and are particularly popular in Japan, China and Vietnam.

1790 Marie, Vicomte de Botherel, born. He installed kitchens on buses in Paris suburbs in 1839, the first restaurant cars.

1790 Marie Harel is said to have developed Camembert cheese in Normandy.

1790 Obed Hussy was born. Invented a horse drawn reaper.

1790 A water-powered mill with machinery for spinning, roving, and carding cotton, began operating on the banks of the Blackstone River in Pawtuket, Rhode Island.

1791 Peter Cooper was born. American inventor and founder of the 'Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art.' He also obtained the first American patent for the manufacture of gelatin. In 1895, a cough syrup manufacturer, Pearl B. Wait purchased the patent and developed a packaged gelatin dessert. Wait's wife, May David Wait named it Jell-O.

1791 Samuel Mulliken of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania received a patent for a machine to thresh corn and grain.

1791 Charles Babbage was born. He invented the adding machine, and among his other inventions is the cowcatcher, the V shaped front end on locomotives.

1792 Rufus Porter was born (died 1884).  American editor and inventor. On August 28, 1845 he put out the first issue of Scientific American, but sold the magazine after 10 months. He held over 100 patents, including a fire alarm, signal telegraph, fog whistle, and a washing machine.

1792 James Mayer de Rothschild was born (died 1868).  European banker and founder of the French branch of the Rothschild family.  In 1868 he acquired the famous Chateau Lafite vineyards in Bordeaux, France.

1792 Under a tree near 68 Wall Street in New York City,  24 stock brokers signed an agreement on commission rates. This agreement eventually led to the establishment of the New York Stock Exchange in 1817.

1792 Samuel Slocum was born. He invented a machine to make pins with solid heads and a machine for sticking the pins in a paper holder for sale.

1792 Oranges were supposedly introduced to Hawaii.

1792 John Montague, 4th Earl of Sandwich died. Captain Cook named the Sandwich Islands after him (now known as Hawaii). He is supposed to have invented the sandwich as a quick meal so as not to interrupt his gambling sessions.

1792 Charles-Somon Favart died in Belleville, France. A French playwright and pastry cook, one of the founders of the opera comique.

1792 S.L. Mitchell was named as the first Professor of Agriculture, at Columbia College, New York City.

1792 The first issue of the 'Farmer's Almanac' was published by Robert Bailey Thomas. (Now called 'Old Farmer's Almanac').

1793 Marie Antoinette, Queen consort of Louis XVI of France, was guillotined (born Nov 2, 1755). She would sometimes wear potato blossoms as a hair decoration.  Attributed quote: "If they have no bread, let them eat cake." 

1793 The first American stove patent is granted to Robert Haeterick

1793 France introduces the first metric weight, the kilogram.

1793 Dr. Jared Kirtland was born. A physician, naturalist, botanist and teacher, he is credited with developing 26 varieties of cherries and six varieties of pears.

1794 The first successful toll road opened, the Lancaster Turnpike.

1794 Edmund Ruffin born. The father of soil chemistry in the U.S.

1794 Eli Whitney patented the cotton gin.

1794 The first stone was laid for the world’s largest grain windmill in Holland. Known as ‘De Walvisch’ (the whale), it is still in existence.

1794 Sylvester Graham was born in West Suffield, Connecticut. He advocated vegetarianism, temperance and the use of coarse ground whole wheat (graham) flour.  He also invented the Graham cracker in 1829.

1794 James Lind died. Lind was a Scottish physician who recommended that fresh citrus fruit and lemon juice be included in the seamen's diet to eliminate scurvy.  The Dutch had been doing this for almost two hundred years.

1794 The Whiskey Rebellion. Protesting the 1791 federal tax on distilled spirits a large gathering of rebels in western Pennsylvania burned the regional tax inspectors home. President Washington ordered 13,000 troops to the area, but opposition disappeared.

1794 Elias Fries was born. A Swedish botanist who developed the first system for classifying fungi.




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