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

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Today in Food HistoryFOOD TIMELINE: >  1870 to '74




50,000 BC to 1 BC
1 AD to 1199   ·   1200 to 1399
1400 to 1499   ·   1500 to 1550
1551 to 1599   ·   1600 to 1625
1626 to 1650   ·   1651 to 1675
1676 to 1699   ·   1700 to 1719
1720 to 1739   ·   1740 to 1749
1750 to 1759   ·   1760 to 1769
1770 to 1779   ·   1780 to 1784
1785 to 1789   ·   1790 to 1794
1795 to 1799   ·   1800 to 1805
1806 to 1810   ·   1811 to 1819
1820 to 1824   ·   1825 to 1830
1831 to 1835   ·   1836 to 1840
1841 to 1845   ·   1846 to 1849
1850 to 1854   ·   1855 to 1859
1860 to 1864   ·   1865 to 1869
1870 to 1874   ·   1875 to 1879
1880 to 1884   ·   1885 to 1889
1890 to 1894   ·   1895 to 1899
1900 to 1905   ·   1906 to 1910
1911 to 1915   ·   1916 to 1920
1921 to 1925   ·   1926 to 1930
1931 to 1935   ·   1936 to 1940
1941 to 1945   ·   1946 to 1950
1951 to 1955   ·   1956 to 1960
1961 to 1965   ·   1966 to 1970
1971 to 1975   ·   1976 to 1980
1981 to 1985   ·   1986 to 1990
1991 to 1995   ·   1996 to 2000
2001 to 2005   ·   2006   ·   2007
2008   ·   2009   ·   2010
2011 to 2012   ·   2013 to 2014
2015 to 2019   ·   2020 to 2021
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

See Also: Today in Food History
JAN   |   FEB   |   MAR   |   APRIL
MAY   |   JUNE   |   JULY   |   AUG
SEPT   |   OCT   |   NOV   |   DEC



1870 to 1874

1870 The McIntosh apple is propagated from a seedling by Allan McIntosh of Ontario. It will become the dominant variety in New England.

1870 The U.S. produces 30 million cans of food.

1870 The creation of the U.S. Weather Service (National Weather Service) was authorized by Congress.

1870 William C. Coleman was born.  Inventor and founder of the Coleman Company, manufacturer of camping equipment.

1870 Congress enacted Federal Trademark Act 1870, first federal act permitting registration of trademarks.

1870 The population of the U.S. is now 38,558,371. Farmers are 53% of the labor force. There are about 2,660,000 farms, averaging about 153 acres.

1870 Thomas Elkins, of Albany, New York received a patent for a 'Dining, Ironing Table and Quilting Frame Combined'

1870 'Granny Smith' died (born Maria Ann Sherwood in 1799). Granny Smith discovered the apple named for her growing on a seedling tree on her farm.

1870 William W. Lyman of Meriden, Connecticut, received a patent for a Can Opener with a rotating cutter that pivoted around a hole punched in the center of the can.

1870 Construction begins on the Brooklyn Bridge, the longest suspension bridge at the time.

1870 Gustavus D. Dows received U.S. patent No. 99,170 for an "Improvement in Soda-Fountains"

1870 Edmund McIlhenny patented his improved method for making Pepper Sauce (Tabasco Sauce). U.S. patent No. 107,701.

1870 Christmas was declared a federal holiday in the United States.

1870 George Cormack, creator of Wheaties cereal, was born.

1870 The original wooden boardwalk in Atlantic City was built. It was taken up during the winter months. It was replaced with a larger boardwalk in 1880, which was destroyed in a hurricane in 1889. It was  rebuilt again, and in 1898 rebuilt with steel.

1870 Ilya Ivanovich Ivanov was born. Ivanov was a Soviet biologist. Others had previously shown it was possible to artificially inseminate domestic animals, Ivanov developed the practical procedures in 1901. Initially working with horses, by the early 1930s the procedure was being used on other farm animals.

1870 Georges Claude was born. A French engineer, he invented the neon light, commonly used for signs.

1870 Samuel Augustus Maverick died (born July 23, 1803). An American cattleman and politician. He didn't brand his cattle, and his name is the source of the term 'maverick' referring to an unbranded animals.

1870 Alexandre Dumas died. French author ('The Three Musketeers', etc.) was also well known as a gourmet, and author of 'Grande Dictionnaire de la cuisine,' which he finished a few weeks before his death in 1870, and was published in 1872.

1870 Of gainfully employed persons, 47.4 percent were engaged in agriculture. This was the first time that farmers were a minority.

1870 Charles Dickens was died. English Victorian era author and social critic. In many of his 15 novels and hundreds of short stories, there are vivid descriptions of food and meals.

1870-71 During the Siege of Paris (Sept 19, 1870 to Jan 28, 1871) camel is listed on the menu of Voison restaurant's Christmas Eve menu.    (See the 1871 Siege Menu from a dinner attended by Mr. Washbourne of the U.S. embassy. The animals & birds from Jardin d’Acclimatation amusement park)

1870 Bert Benjamin was born.  Draftsman designer with International Harvester Co. Inventor of Farmall Tractor, the first that could plow and cultivate row crops. Granted 140 patents for tractors and tractor accessories.

1871 The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service began life in 1871 as the U.S. Commission on Fish and Fisheries, created to study and recommend solutions to a decline in the stocks of food fish. Spencer Fullerton Baird was appointed its first commissioner.

1871 Samuel Hopkins Adams was born.  American author and journalist. His series of articles in 1905 about patent medicines ('The Great American Fraud') for Collier's Weekly, led to the passage of the Pure Food and Drug Act of 1906.

1871 Albert L. Jones of New York received patent No. 122,023 for corrugated paper, an "improvement in paper for packing" which could be used to make boxes.

1871 Illinois Warehouse Act regulated grain elevators.

1871 Margaret Knight designed a machine to make brown paper bags with flat bottoms.

1871 Henry Bradley of Binghamton, New York was issued U.S. Patent No. 110,626 for oleomargarine, "improvment in compound for culinary use." (see also Margarine Trivia & Facts)

1871 Harry Brearley was born. Brearley was an English metallurgist who invented stainless steel in 1913.

1871 Mary Florence Potts of Ottumwa, Iowa patented the 'Mrs. Potts' pressing iron. It had a detachable handle so several iron bodies could be heated and used in turn as one cooled down.

1871 The American Museum of Natural History in New York City was opened to the public.

1871 Louisa Tetrazzini born. Italian operatic soprano. Chicken Tetrazzini, created by a New York chef, was named in her honor.

1871 Marcel Proust was born. Marcel Proust was a French writer. On January 1, 1909, he ate a piece of tea-soaked toast whose taste caused on a series of childhood memories. In his 7 volume allegorical novel 'Remembrance of Things Past,' the character Swann has a similar experience when he bites into a lemon cookie (a madelaine) which evokes a similar torrent of memories. This is one of the most ubiquitous (i.e., widely-quoted) allusions in literature.

1871 Seth Wheeler of Albany, New York was issued a patent for perforated wrapping paper.

1871 The Great Chicago Fire broke out and destroyed over 17,000 buildings and left almost 100,000 people homeless. It was usually blamed on Mrs. Kate O'Leary's cow kicking over a lamp. However in 1997 the Chicago City Council looked into the evidence, both new and old, and passed a resolution exonerating Mrs. O'Leary and her cow. Many still believe the cow was guilty.

1871 The same night as the Chicago Fire, fire also leveled a broad swath of Michigan and Wisconsin, including the cities of Peshtigo, Holland, Manistee, and Port Huron. At least 1,200 people died (possibly twice as many) as a result of the fire.

1871 Charles Babbage died. He invented the adding machine, and among his other inventions is the cowcatcher, the V shaped front end on locomotives.

1871 Journalist Henry Morton Stanley finds missing explorer Dr. David Livingstone near Lake Tanganyika - "Dr. Livingstone, I presume?"

1871 Luther Burbank developed the Russet Burbank potato.

1871 Thomas Adams, of Hudson City, New Jersey, received a patent for a method of producing chewing-gum. (See also Chewing Gum Trivia & Facts)

1872 France announced it would permit the commercial sale of margarine.

1872 Phillip Pratt of Massachusetts received the first U.S. patent (No. 131,370) for an automatic sprinkler system.

1872 The first Japanese commercial ship to visit the U.S. arrives in San Francisco carrying a cargo of tea.

1872 Fire nearly destroyed Boston's business district. Firefighters from dozens of surrounding towns helped to fight the blaze, but water pressure was too low to halt the spreading inferno. Officials resorted to blowing up buildings to keep the fire from spreading to residential areas. Almost 1,000 businesses were destroyed.

1872 African American inventor Thomas Elkins received his second patent. It was for a "Chamber Commode," a combination "bureau, mirror, book-rack, washstand, table, easy chair, and earth-closet or chamber-stool." 

1872 Lafayette Benedict Mendel was born. An American biochemist who published various papers on nutrition. His work on vitamins and proteins helped establish modern concepts about nutrition.

1872 Black American inventor Thomas Elkins, of Albany, New York received U.S. patent No. 122,518 for a 'Chamber Commode'

1872 Silas Noble and James Cooley of Granville, Massachusetts were issued a patent (No. 123,790) for a toothpick manufacturing machine.

1872 Cyrus W. Baldwin of Boston, Massachusetts received U.S. patent No. 123,761 for a hydraulic electric elevator. It was installed in the Stephens Hotel in New York City.

1872 Samuel R. Percy of New York received a patent for dried milk.

1872 'Mrs. Hill's Southern Practical Cookery and Receipt Book' by Annabella P. Hill of Georgia was published.

1872 The first Arbor Day was observed in Nebraska. It was proposed by J. Sterling Morton and publicized by the State Board of Agriculture as a tree-planting holiday. Nebraska at that time was a treeless plain, with nothing to break the wind other than the normal digestive functions of mammals. Trees were also needed for fuel, shade, building houses, etc. Estimates are that more than one million trees were planted in Nebraska on that first Arbor Day.  It was proclaimed an official state day in 1874. Other states have since adopted the idea, and several U.S. presidents have declared national Arbor Days, usually the last Friday in April. The idea has also spread to other countries.
The National Arbor Day Foundation

1872 Robert Chesebrough of New York patented a method for making vaseline.

1872 George M. Hoover arrived in Dodge City. He opened the first business in Dodge city, a saloon of course. Whisky was 25 cents.

1872 John F. Blondel of Thomason (Thomaston?), Maine, patented the first doughnut cutter.

1872 It was reported to have rained black worms in Bucharest, Rumania on July 25.

1872 Emily Post was born. (or on October 3, 1873). Etiquette expert, newspaper columnist, author of 'Etiquette in Society, in Business, in Politics, and at Home' (1922); 'The Emily Post Cook Book' (1949); 'Motor Manners' (1950).

1872 An all metal windmill was patented by J.S. Risdon.

1872 The 'Mary Celeste' sailed for Genoa from New York with a cargo of 1700 barrels of alcoholic spirits. The ship was found abandoned near the Azores, the captain, his wife and daughter and 7 crewmen missing, and no sign of violence. The captain, his family and the crew were never seen again.

1872 Felix Archimede Pouchet died. A French naturalist, he was one of those who believed that life was created from nonliving matter in processes such as fermentation and putrefication. Those flies and maggots, fungi,  yeast and bacteria just appeared from nowhere. (He was wrong.)

1872 Walter Scott of Providence, Rhode Island invents the horse drawn lunch wagon.

1872 Henry Tate, an English sugar merchant, patented a method of cutting sugar into small cubes in 1872. He made a fortune.

1872 Alexandre Dumas' 'Grand dictionnaire de la cuisine' was published.

1872 Curnonsky (Maurice Edmond Sailland) was born. French gastronome and writer. He was given the title "Prince of Gastronomes," a title he was awarded in a public referendum in 1927, and a title no one else has ever been given.

1872 The C.A. Pillsbury & Co. flour milling company was founded.

1872 Montgomery Ward published the first mail order catalog. It consisted of one page and listed more than 150 items for sale.

1872 Luther Childs Crowell of Cape Cod, Massachusetts, was granted a patent (# 123,811) for a machine to manufacture square bottom paper bags. It is the same basic design still used today.  Crowell is the 3rd most prolific American inventor of 19th century, with more than 280 patents.

1873 Rocky Mountain locusts enter southwestern Minnesota. The beginning of a 4 year crop destroying locust (grasshopper) plague.

1873 Louis Pasteur, of Paris, France received U.S. patent # 135,245 for Improvement in Brewing Beer And Ale ("new and useful Improvements in the Process of Making Beer")

1873 Colette, (Sidonie Gabrielle) was born. A French novelist, her novels contain many exact and detailed descriptions of food and the pleasures of the table, and quite a few recipes.

1873 John Torrey died. He was the first professional botanist in the New World.

1873 Alfred Paraf received U.S. patent No. 137,564 for the first commercially viable margarine manufacturing process.

1873 Salmon Portland Chase died. He was Secretary of the Treasury under Abraham Lincoln, and later Chief Justice.

1873 It is reported in July that it rained frogs in Kansas City, Missouri.

1873 Justus von Liebig was died (born May 12, 1803). German chemist who made major contributions to organic and agricultural chemistry.  Developed Liebig Extract of Beef, a concentrated liquid meat extract.

1873 John T. Dorrance was born (died Sept 21, 1930).  An American chemist, he developed a method to make condensed soup, and served as president of Campbell Soup Co. from 1914 to 1930.

1873 It rains ants in Nancy, France on July 21.

1873 The first issue of 'Field & Stream' was published.

1873 Emily Post was born. (or 1872, which see).

1873 Anthony Iske was issued a patent for a meat slicing machine. It worked much like a mandoline, with a frame to hold the meat while sliding it against the blade.

1873 All of the Peking (Pekin) ducks in the U.S. are descended from 9 ducks imported to Long Island, New York in 1873. (also called Long Island duckling)

1873 Adolphus Busch developed a method of pasteurizing beer so it could withstand temperature fluctuations, which enabled national distribution.

1873 Burbank potato was developed by Luther Burbank.

1873 The Washington navel orange introduced into California with trees secured from Brazil by USDA.

1873 Aberdeen-Angus bulls imported from Scotland.

1874 Charles Orvis (C. F. Orvis Company in Manchester, Vermont) received patent for a Fishing-Reel, the prototype for modern fly reels.

1874 Canada: Ontario Agricultural College was founded (now the University of Guelph, Ontario).

1874 Lewis Latimer and Charles W. Brown of Massachusetts were issued U.S. patent No. 147,363 for a special toilet system for trains ("Improvements in Water-Closets for Railway Passenger-Cars").

1874 African-American inventor Edward Sutton of North Carolina was issued U.S. patent No. 149,543 for an "Improvement in Cotton Cultivators"

1874 African American inventor Elijah McCoy received U.S. patent #150,876 for a folding ironing table. A prolific inventor, McCoy received 57 patents in his lifetime, and is supposedly the source of the expression "the real McCoy," meaning "the real thing."

1874 The winner in an Oyster shucking contest in Montreal, Canada shucked 300 oysters in 30 minutes.

1874 U.S. Patent #157,124 issued to Joseph F. Glidden for barbed wire (patent application filed Oct 27, 1873). The beginning of the end of cowboys and the open range. Rangeland begins to be fenced in, ending the era of unrestricted open-range grazing.

1874 Mennonites make first important introductions of wheat from Turkey into Kansas.

1874 Grasshopper plagues in the Western U.S.

1874 Pressure cooker invented; patents first granted in 1902, but not in general use until 1935.

1874 Durra sorghum, known as Egyptian corn, introduced into California from Egypt.

1874 Manufacture of oleomargarine began in the U.S.

1874 Gail Borden died. Borden was the Inventor of a process for making condensed milk, and founder of New York Condensed Milk Co. (later to become the Borden Co).

1874 British author, W. Somerset Maugham was born. Among the titles of his novels and short stories are: 'Cakes and Ale', 'The Alien Corn' and 'The Breadwinner.'

1874 John Bachman died. 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.

1874 George Harrison Shull was born. An American botanist, frequently called the 'father of hybrid corn.'

1874 Georgia is the first state to establish a state Department of Agriculture.

1874 Jeans with copper rivets are patented by Levi Strauss and Jacob Davis.

1874 The Philadelphia Zoo opened, the first zoological gardens in the U.S.

1874 Sergey Vasilyevich Lebedev was born. Lebedev was a Russian chemist who developed a method to produce synthetic rubber on a commercial scale, which used potatoes and limestone as raw materials.

1874 Harry S. Parmelee of New Haven, Connecticut patented the sprinkler head.

1874 Women's Christian Temperance Union was formed in Cleveland, Ohio.

1874 James Lewis Kraft was born. Founder of Kraft Co. a wholesale cheese distributor and producer. In 1916 he patented pasteurized process cheese, a low cost cheese that would not spoil. Not a great hit with the public, but the U.S. army purchased over 6 million tins of it during WW I. During the depression, it became popular because of its low cost.

1874 Pascal celery was first cultivated, in Michigan.


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Today in Food HistoryFOOD TIMELINE: >  1870 to '74


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