FOOD HISTORY TIMELINE
1931 to 1935
1931 Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova died. A famous dessert of Australian or New Zealand origin was named for her. It is a meringue with whipped cream and fruit. (Please, no more email on this subject - both countries have strong supporters for the origin, and in an effort at compromise, I have split the credit with both.)
1931 Alka Seltzer is introduced in the U.S. by Miles Laboratories. It combined aspirin for relief of headaches, fevers, and body pain and bi-carbonate of soda to neutralize stomach acids and settle the stomach.
1931 Bagnell Dam was completed in Missouri, forming the Lake of the Ozarks, one of the largest artificial lakes in the world with approximately 1,400 miles of shoreline.
1931 'Dracula' starring Bela Lugosi premiers in New York City.
1931 Helen Porter Mitchel died. You probably do not recognize that name, but you may recognize her stage name, Nellie Melba. A world famous operatic soprano born in Australia, Melba Toast and Peach Melba were named for her. Escoffier is thought to have been involved with the creation and/or naming of both dishes.
1931 Empire State Building opens. It was built on the site of the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel
1931 Canned rattlesnake goes on sale. Packed by George K. End of Arcadia, Florida. Not quite as big a hit as Spam.
1931 The first commercial doors operated by a photoelectric cell were installed on the swinging doors between the kitchen and dining room of Wilcox's Pier Restaurant in West Haven, Connecticut.
1931 Stephen Moulton Babcock died. Babcock developed a test to measure the fat content of milk, which helped improve the quality of commercial dairy production.
1931 'Kid Chocolate' (Elgio Saldana) becomes Cuba's first world boxing champion after defeating Benny Bass for the Jr. Lightweight Championship.
1931 A swarm of grasshoppers destroyed thousands of acres of crops in Iowa, Nebraska and South Dakota. The corn fields were totally destroyed, without a stalk left standing.
1931 Henri Babinsky (nicknamed Ali-Bab) was a well traveled engineer who collected recipes and cooked for his companions on his travels around the world. He published Gastronomie pratique (Practical Gastronomy) in 1907.
1931 Harry MacElhone of Harry's Bar in Paris created the Sidecar cocktail.
1931 Sir Thomas Johnston Lipton died (born 1850). Grocer and tea merchant.
1931 General Mills introduced Bisquick
1931 Auguste-Henri Forel was born. The next time you are on a picnic and become overtaken by ants, think of Forel. If you would like to know about ants, find a copy of his 5 volume 'The Social World of the Ants.'
1931 Thomas Alva Edison, "the wizard of Menlo Park" died.
1931 Catharine Furbish died. An American botanist, she spent almost 40 years traveling and painting very accurate watercolors of the flora of the state of Maine.
1931 Melvil Dewey died. He created the Dewey Decimal Classification system for cataloging library books.
1931 Fungus that causes Dutch elm disease introduced into the U.S.
1931 New citrus fruit 'tangelo’ developed, a grapefruit and tangerine hybrid.
1931 The Nevada state Assembly legalizes gambling to provide a source of revenue for the state during the Great Depression.
1932 'Blackberries of 1932' opened at the Liberty Theatre in New York City.
1932 Sidney Craig was born (died 2008). Co-founder with his wife, Jenny Craig, of the Jenny Craig chain of diet centers.
1932 Jenny Craig was born Aug 7. Founder, with her husband Sidney Craig, of the Jenny Craig chain of weight loss centers.
1932 First plastic coated paper milk cartons introduced commercially.
1932 Drought and dust-bowl conditions develop.
1932 Use of carbon dioxide tested as method to retard produce decay; eventually led to method for protecting fruits in transit.
1932 William Wrigley, Jr. died. William Wrigley Jr. started out as a traveling salesman at the age of 13, selling soap for his father's company. He had a series of sales jobs, one which gave chewing gum as a premium. Customers liked the gum better than the product, so he was soon marketing his own gum, Juicy Fruit in 1893, and later that year Wrigley's Spearmint. He was an advertising genius, and his company became one of the largest advertisers in the U.S., and the largest chewing gum manufacturer in the world.
1932 James E. Markham of Stark Brothers Nurseries and Orchards in Mississippi, received the first patent for a fruit tree. It was for a peach tree whose fruit ripened later than other varieties.
1932 Ilya Ivanovich Ivanov Died. 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.
1932 Actor Gordon Jump was born. The 'Maytag Repairman' in commercials, also Arthur Carlson on 'WKRP in Cincinnati'
1932 Vitamin C is first isolated by C.G. King at the University of Pittsburgh.
1932 C. Glen King, at the University of Pittsburgh, isolated vitamin C from lemon juice.
1932 Meadowlark Lemon, basketball star, was born.
1932 The Revenue Act creates the first gasoline tax in the U.S. (1 cent per gallon).
1932 Noriyuki 'Pat' Morita was born. A Japanese American actor, one of his roles was Arnold, cook and owner of Arnold's Drive In restaurant on the TV show 'Happy Days' (1974-1984).
1932 Dave Thomas, founder of Wendy's Hamburger chain was born (died 2002).
1932 The Mars Bar, candy bar, was introduced.
1933 The first sit-down strike began. It took place at the Hormel Packing plant in Austin, Minnesota.
1933 Fred Turner was born (died 2013). In 1956 he was one of the first employees hired by McDonald's founder Ray Kroc. He rose quickly through the ranks, and succeeded founder Ray Kroc as CEO in 1977. He founded Hamburger University in 1961 and was a co-founder of Ronald McDonald House Charities.
1933 The classic film 'King Kong' premiered at Radio City Music Hall and the RKO Roxy theaters in New York City.
1933 Guy L. Tinkham invented the flexible metal ice cube tray. He was an engineer at McCord Radiator & Mfg. in Detroit.
1933 The Postal Telegraph Co. of New York City delivers the first singing telegram.
1933 The House of Commons defeated a bill that would have prohibited the sale of alcohol in the U.K.
1933 Utah became the 36th state to ratify the 21st Amendment, repealing the 18th Amendment and ended prohibition, 'the noble experiment.' The official effective date is December 15, 1933. Cheers!
1933 The beginning of the end of Prohibition. On this day 3.2 percent beer sales became legal, in advance of Prohibition's repeal on Dec 5, 1933 (see also March 22, 1933).
1933 Jayne Mansfield was born. American beauty contest winner, stage and screen actress. Supposedly the only title she ever turned down was 'Miss Roquefort Cheese,' because she believed it "just didn't sound right."
1933 The first automatic soda fountain dispenser is introduced by Coca-Cola.
1933 The first drive-in theater was opened in Camden, New Jersey by Richard Hollingshead. It had nine rows of parking on ten acres, with room for at least 400 cars. Where's the popcorn!
1933 A barge loaded with grain arrived in New Orleans to complete the first Great Lakes to the Gulf of Mexico barge trip.
1933 Waldo L. Semon received a patent on a method for making plasticized PVC, now know as Vinyl.
1933 Proctor & Gamble began marketing 'Dreft,' the first synthetic detergent for home use. Detergents perform better in hard water than soaps.
1933 The first great dust storm occurred on the Great Plains. The 'Black Blizzard' buried roads and vehicles from Texas to Canada under drifts as deep as 6 feet.
1933 Kit Kat candy bar invented.
1933 Kraft Miracle Whip Salad Dressing is introduced by National Dairy Products. It combines the best features of two existing products -- mayo and boiled salad dressing. It soon grows to outsell mayonnaise in the U.S.A.
1933 One of the first sit-down strikes began. It took place at the Hormel packing plant in Austin, Minnesota.
1933 Soil Erosion Service established, later known as Soil Conservation Service, and today as Natural Resources Conservation Service.
1933 The first farm bill, the Agricultural Adjustment Act was passed by Congress to maintain balance between production and consumption of agricultural commodities.
1933 Sponsored by General Mills, the first episode of the 'Long Ranger' was broadcast on radio station WXYZ in Detroit, Michigan.
1933 Michel Guerard was born. French master chef, inventor of cuisine minceur (slimming cuisine) and one of the founders of nouvelle cuisine.
1933 The play 'Let 'Em Eat Cake' opened on Broadway.
1934 J. F. Cantrell opened the 'Washateria' in Fort Worth, Texas. It was the first laundromat, and had 4 electric washing machines customers could rent by the hour.
1934 The musical comedy 'Caviar' opened at the Forrest Theatre in New York City.
1934 Ritz Crackers were introduced by the National Biscuit Company (now Nabisco).
1934 Graham Kerr was born. British chef, cookbook author and televison cooking host. Best known for the cooking show 'The Galloping Gourmet' (produced in Canada).
1934 Fritz Haber died (born 1868). German chemist, he developed a method of synthesizing ammonia directly from nitrogen and hydrogen (1909). This led to large-scale commercial production of nitrogen fertilizer.
1934 Worst drought in U.S. history took place in the Great Plains and covered over 75 percent of the country.
1934 Taylor Grazing Act gave U.S. Department of the Interior power to regulate grazing on public lands in the West.
1934 Jones-Connally Act authorized appropriations for research to eliminate disease from beef and dairy herds.
1934 Carizzo citrus rootstock released, base for more than 60 percent of all United States citrus trees.
1934 Elizabeth Gertrude Knight Britton died. An American botanist, she helped establish the New York Botanical Gardens.
1934 Sergey Vasilyevich Lebedev died. Russian chemist who developed a method for large scale production of synthetic rubber. Production of polybutadiene was begun in 1932 using potatoes and limestone as raw materials.
1934 The Dust Bowl. One of the worst dust storms ever to hit the Great Plains occurred. It lasted 2 days and the area lost massive amounts of top soil.
1934 David Wesson died. An American chemist who developed a method to make cotton seed oil edible. Cotton seed oil has almost no taste, so it allows the flavors of other foods to come through. It is used in the manufacture of margarine, salad dressings and in commercially fried foods.
1934 Pepsi introduced their 12 ounce bottle for the same price competitors were selling 6 ounce bottles.
1934 Charles Francis Jenkins died. An inventor, Jenkins is best known as an early television pioneer. Among his many inventions was a cone-shaped drinking cup.
1934 Donald Duck's first appearance.
1934 Carl Paul Gottfried Linde died. (born 1842). A German engineer who invented mechanical refrigeration. He developed it so beer could be brewed year round. (Brewing requires low temperatures.)
1934 Ole Evinrude died. He invented the first practical outboard motor in 1909. The idea came to him while rowing a boat to a picnic one day. He decided there must be an easier way to move a small boat on the water.
1934 It is claimed that cheeseburgers were first served in 1934 at Kaelin's restaurant in Louisville, Kentucky.
1934 Ritz Crackers were introduced by the National Biscuit Company (now Nabisco).
1935 Jacques Pépin was born. Well known award winning French Chef, prolific cookbook author and host of numerous TV cooking shows, including the PBS series with Julia Child, 'Julia and Jacques Cooking at Home.'
1935 Richard Berry, composer of 'Louie Louie' was born on April 11 (died 1997).
1935 John James Rickard Macleod died. He shared the 1923 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine with Sir Frederick Banting for the discovery of insulin and its role in the metabolism of sugar.
1935 Babe Ruth hit the final home run of his career, number 714, at Forbes Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
1935 There are about 6.8 million farms in the U.S.
1935 Two farmers out of every five were tenant farmers.
1935 B. (Barnard) Kliban was born. A satirical cartoonist, best known for his cat cartoons. A few of his cartoon book titles: 'Never Eat Anything Larger Than Your Head', 'The Biggest Tongue in Tunisia'.
1935 In Miami, the first Orange Bowl was played in 1935. Bucknell University wins over the University of Miami, 26-0.
1935 The first Sugar Bowl football game was played in 1935 in New Orleans.
1935 The beer can (created by the American Can Co.) was introduced in Richmond, Virginia by the Gottfried Krueger Brewing Company of Newark, New Jersey. The products were Krueger's Finest Beer and Krueger's Cream Ale.
1935 Black Sunday, April 14. A huge dust storm or 'black blizzard' blew through areas of New Mexico, Colorado, Oklahoma and Texas. One of the worst dust storms in U.S. history, it displaced an estimated 300 million tons of topsoil.
1935 Porky Pig, Warner Bros. Loony Tunes character, made his debut in the animated short 'I Haven't Got a Hat'
1935 The temperature in Chicago reached 109 degrees F on July 24.
1935 (Georges-) Auguste Escoffier died. "the king of chefs and the chef of kings."
1935 AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) was founded.
1935 At the DuPont Corporation, Dr. Wallce Hume Carothers invented nylon. A patent was issued in 1937, and nylon stockings soon followed.
1935 Curtis Fletcher Marbut died. American geologist and one of the founders of modern soil science. He was with the U.S. Bureau of Soils for 25 years.
1935 The Labor Day Hurricane of 1935 hit the Florida Keys. Over 400 were killed and the Railroad to Key West was destroyed. It was the most powerful hurricane to ever hit the U.S., with winds estimated at 200 mph.
1935 Ernest Brundin and Frank Lyon set up the first commercial scale hydroponic plant culture system. A patent was issued to them on December 1, 1936.
1935 Lafayette Benedict Mendel died. An American biochemist who published various papers on nutrition. His work on vitamins and proteins helped establish modern standards of nutrition.
1935 The American Can Co. introduced an enameled can for packaging beer. It was an immediate success.
1935 Allan Burns was born. Screenwriter and producer, co-creator of The Mary Tyler Moore Show and Rhoda. He also created the character Captain Horatio Magellan Crunch for Quaker Oats 'Cap'n Crunch' breakfast cereal.