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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: >  1936 to '40




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1931 to 1935   ·   1936 to 1940
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1936 to 1940

1936 William Horlick died (born 1846). Manufacturer of food for infants and invalids, he created and patented (1883) a new formulae named  'Diastoid' - later renamed and trademarked as 'malted milk' which found new and unexpected uses and markets.

1936 Donald Featherstone was born (died 2015). An American artist, he designed the original plastic pink flamingo lawn ornament.

1936 'Mutiny on the Bounty' is voted 'Outstanding Production' (Best Picture) at the 8th Academy Awards. The story of the mutiny against Captain Bligh on the English ship 'Bounty' when it was sailing from Tahiti to bring back breadfruit trees.

1936 U.S. patent No. 2,039,345 was granted to Edward Ravenscroft of Glencoe, Illinois for the first bottle with a screw cap and a pour lip.

1936 Elizabeth Coblentz was born in Berne, Indiana (died 2002). Syndicated Amish cooking columnist and cookbook author (The Amish Cook, The Amish Cook Cookbook, An Amish Christmas, etc.).

1936 Ralph W. Kerr receives U.S. patent No. 2,052,308 for Odorless Cornstarch. It will not turn rancid, and will remain odorless for a long period of time.

1936 The first generator at Boulder Dam (later Hoover Dam)  began transmitting electricity to Los Angeles.

1936 The first TV Gardening show 'In Your Garden' is broadcast on BBC television.

1936 The Oakland Bay Bridge opened.

1936 London's famed Crystal Palace, built for the 1851 International Exhibition, was destroyed by a fire, despite efforts of 500 fireman and 90 engines.

1936 The last Tasmanian Tiger died at the Hobart Zoo in Tasmania, Australia. This dog-like marsupial was systematically exterminated as an undesirable predator of farm animals.

1936 Jim Henson, puppeteer was born on September 24. Creator of the 'Muppets' - including Miss Piggy and the Cookie Monster.

1936 Cunard line’s ‘Queen Mary’ set sail on her maiden voyage.

1936 The first 32 ounce quart beer cans appeared.

1936 Ivan Petrovich Pavlov died.  Pavlov's work with dogs actually started as a study of digestion.  He theorized that digestion was controlled in part by sensory inputs of sight, smell and taste - and as he discovered, ding-ding - sound; 'conditioned reflex.'

1936 Canned beer is sold to the public in Britain for the first time, by Felinfoel Brewery in Wales.

1936 A patent was granted for the first bottle with a screw cap to Edward Ravenscroft of Glencoe, Illinois.

1936 Sylvan Goldman & Fred Young invented the first shopping cart.

1936 Rural Electrification Act (REA) greatly improves the quality of rural life.

1936 The 5th Avenue candy bar was introduced.

1936 Louis Ballast of Denver, Colorado was given a trademark for the name 'cheeseburger' in 1936.  He never enforced it though.

1936 The Cobb salad was invented by Robert Cobb at his Brown Derby Restaurant in Hollywood, California.

1936 In Georgia, William Stuckey sets up a roadside stand to sell homegrown pecans and homemade candy.

1936 Congress approved the 40-hour work week.

1936 The first American blue cheese plant was founded by Felix Frederickson in 1936 in Faribault, Minnesota.

1936 Wally Amos, Jr. born. Originator of Famous Amos Chocolate Chip Cookies. He sold the name, and now makes Uncle Noname chocolate chip cookies.

1936 Henry F. Phillips patented the  Phillips-head screw and screwdriver.

1936 The Oscar Mayer Wienermobile is invented. It is a giant hot dog on wheels. Invented by Carl Mayer, nephew of Oscar Mayer, it was built by General Body Company at Chicago, Illinois. There are now a fleet of six.

1936 The Army Subsistence Research Laboratory opened. It was devoted solely to developing foods for the Army. One of its first products was the 'Logan Bar,' developed by Paul P. Logan, used in the Army's emergency 'D Ration.'

1936 The first patent was issued for a commercial scale hydroponic system for plant culture (a 'hydroponicum'). Ernest Walfrid Brundin and Frank F. Lyon received the patent on the system they had set up the previous year.

1936 Harland Sanders is made an honorary Kentucky Colonel by governor Ruby Laffoon in recognition of his contributions to the state's cuisine.

1936 Cola flavored Jell-O was introduced. It didn't sell and was dropped after about one year.

1936 Fredy Girardet was born.  Swiss chef, he is considered one of the greatest chefs in the world, and his restaurant in Crissier, Switzerland one of the best in the world.

1936 'Horse Eats Hat' opened at Maxine Elliott's Theatre in New York City.

1937 Robert H. Brooks was born (died July 16, 2006). Founder of Naturally Fresh Foods in 1966, he also helped create The Hooters restaurant chain.

1937 'Black Blizzard' dust storms peril crops and health in Kansas, Colorado, Oklahoma, Texas, and New Mexico.

1937 The first Blood Bank is established in Chicago, Illinois at Cook County Hospital.

1937 The Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco officially opened to the public with a week long Fiesta Week celebration, beginning with an exclusive 'Pedestrian Day' on May 27.

1937 Nicholas Shackleton was born (died 2006).  English geologist and paleoclimatologist who helped identify carbon dioxide as a greenhouse gas.

1937 Leroy Lind, of Rockford, Illinois received U.S. patent No. 2,087,157 for the Servisoft water softener. It was easier, faster to maintain, and less costly than existing systems.

1937 The French L'appellation d'origine contrôl Beaujolais (Beaujolais AOC) was created ('controlled designation of origin').

1937 Joseph Bernard Friedman, of San Francisco, California, received U.S. patent #2,094,268 for soda straw with a flexible section that can be bent without reducing the diameter of the straw - a 'bendy' soda straw. (Original patent drawing)

1937 Donald Duck's three nephews, Huey, Dewey and Louie, first appeared in the newspaper comic strip.

1937 The Lincoln Tunnel (originally the Midtown Hudson Tunnel) between Midtown Manhattan and Weehawken, New Jersey opened to traffic.

1937 Life magazine removed its logo from the cover to feature a full cover photo of a White Leghorn Rooster's head by innovative photographer Torkel Korling.

1937 The first annual meeting of the General Wildlife Foundation, becoming the National Wildlife Federation in 1938.

1937 Antonio Carluccio was born. Italian chef, restaurateur and cookbook author. TV show 'Antonio Carluccio's Italian Feast'

1937 Charles E. Hires died on July 31.  Manufacturer and creator of Hires Root Beer.

1937 Marcel Boulestin became the first television cook when he presented the first of the Cook’s Night Out programmes on the BBC.

1937 Dr. Wallace Hume Carothers received a patent for Nylon.  (Which he discovered in 1935). One of its first uses was to replace the hog bristles that had been used in toothbrushes.

1937 The cities of Dilley, Texas, and Crystal City, Texas each erected a statue of Popeye, the cartoon character.

1937 Daffy Duck makes his debut appearance in 'Porky,s Duck Hunt’

1937 Francis Stephen Castelluccio was born. Better known as Frankie Valli of 'The Four Seasons' singing group.

1937 William Morton Wheeler died. American entomologist, a world authority on ants. His books include 'Ants: Their Structure, Development and Behavior' (1910) and 'Social LIfe Among the Insects' (1923).

1937 World's largest flower blooms at the NY Botanical Garden, the giant Sumatran Titan Arum (Amorphophallus titanum), 8½ feet high and 4 feet in diameter. Its odor is like that of a putrid, rotting corpse.

1937 August Busch III was born, president and CEO of Anheuser Busch from 1974 to 2002 (Budweiser Beer, etc.).

1937 The first Krispy Kreme doughnut is sold in Salem, North Carolina.

1937 J.R.R. Tolkein's 'The Hobbit' was published. Hobbits were well known as both gourmets and gourmands.

1937 'Woman's Day' magazine began publishing.

1937 Walt Disney's first full length animated film "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" opened in Los Angeles, California. It ran for 83 minutes and cost $1.5 million to make.

1937 Spam was developed by George A. Hormel & Co. and first marketed in 1937.

1937 Candy maker Frank C. Mars of Minnesota introduced the 5 cent Three Musketeers bar in 1937. The original 3 Musketeers bar contained 3 bars in one wrapper. Each with different flavor nougat.

1937 Kraft Macaroni & Cheese was introduced. Make a meal in 9 minutes or less for 19 cents or less.

1937 Wallace Smith, founder of La Choy Food was killed by a bolt of lightning.

1937 Kix Corn Puff cereal was introduced.

1937 Pepperidge Farm Bread was introduced.

1937 Spinach growers in the U.S. erected a statue in honor of Popeye the comic strip sailor.

1937 First soil conservation district in the U.S. organized.

1937 Chester Greenwood died (born 1858 in Farmington, Maine).  He invented and patented the earmuff while still a teenager (U.S. patent No. 188,292 - March 13, 1877). He also patented many other inventions including a tea kettle and a steel tined rack. In 1977 Maine designated December 21 as Chester Greenwood Day.

1937 Alain Chapel was born (died 1990).  French Master Chef and restaurateur.  His restaurant, Alain Chapel, was awarded its 3rd Michelin star in 1973 and maintained it throughout his life. Chapel is considered one of the originators of 'Nouvelle Cuisine.'

1938 New England Products, Inc. registered "V8" trademark for its combination of eight vegetable juices: tomato, spinach, celery, carrot, beet, lettuce, watercress and parlsey juice.

1938 The U.S. Federal Crop Insurance program was authorized.

1938 Miami, Florida gets its first drive-in movie theater.

1938 RCA-NBC began broadcasting the first regular TV programs from the Empire State Building for five hours per week.  Very few TV sets existed to receive the programs.

1938 At about 6pm a meteor streaked across the sky in western Pennsylvania and exploded about 12 miles high over Chicora in Butler County. Only 2 small fragments were found, 241g and 61g. A cow was either injured or killed (reports vary). The original mass of the meteor was estimated at 450-520 tons.

1938 Dr. West's Miracle-Tuft toothbrushes first to offer plastic, non-animal, bristles.

1938 Rocky Aoki was born (died 2008).  Founder of Benihana Japanese Steakhouse restaurant chain.

1938 DuPont begins production of nylon toothbrush bristles. A patent had been granted in 1937. The nylon bristles replaced hog bristles. No more brushing your teeth with hog hair!

1938 The first Superman comic book is published.

1938 The new Federal minimum wage law guaranteed workers 40¢ per hour.

1938 Nestle introduced Nescafe instant coffee in Switzerland.

1938 The 'Queen Elizabeth,' the largest passenger liner of its time, was launched in Scotland. The world's largest floating restaurant.

1938 Agricultural Adjustment Act established four regional research centers to develop new uses for farm products. Locations were Wyndmoor, PA; Peoria, Il; Albany, CA; and New Orleans, LA.

1938 Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act passed.

1938 Edward Murray East died. An American botanist and chemist he helped with the development of hybrid corn. Specifically, he concentrated on controlling the protein and fat content of possible hybrids.

1938 Typhoid Mary (Mary Mallon) died at North Brother Island, New York City. Infamous household cook who was responsible for major outbreaks of typhoid in the New York City area in 1904, 1907, and 1914. She was immune to typhoid, but was a carrier of the bacillus, and spread it wherever she worked as a household cook.

1938 A coelacanth was caught  off the coast of South Africa. The coelacanth is a primitive fish thought to have been extinct for more than 80 million years. Since then another coelacanth population has been discovered in Indonesia.

1938 The Harger 'Drunkometer', the first alcohol breath testing device, was introduced in Indiana.

1938 Du Pont research chemist Roy J. Plunkett accidentally discovered Teflon (polytetrafluoroethylene or PTFE).

1938 Nestle's Crunch candy bar invented.

1938 Prosper Montagne's 'Larousse Gastronomique' was published.

1938 Gold Bond Trading Stamps were introduced.

1938 Lawry's Seasoned salt was created by Lawrence L. Frank for use in his new restaurant, Lawry's The Prime Rib in Los Angeles.

1938 Hershey's Krackel bar was introduced.

1938 Mott's Apple Juice was introduced.

1938 Construction workers find the skeleton of a giant 8 foot Pleistocene beaver.

1938 Martians attack Earth! as Orson Welles’ radio broadcast of H.G. Wells ‘War of the Worlds’ panics millions of listeners.

1938 John Galardi was born (died April 13, 2013).  Founder of Wienerschnitzel (originally Der Wienerschnitzel) hot dog fast food chain.

1938 Achille Gaggia applied for a patent on the first modern expresso maker. The machine forced boiling water through the coffee grounds at high pressure.

1938 Elzie Crisler Segar died. Creator of the spinach loving Popeye the Sailer Man.

1938 'Jelly Roll Blues' was recorded by Bunny Berigan and his orchestra.

1939 Rose Gray was born.  One of the most influential British chefs and restaurateurs of the 20th century. Co-founder and chef of River Cafe in London, "a little piece of Italy on the Thames."

1939 Guy Lombardo and his Royal Canadians record the New Year's Eve standard, 'Auld Lang Syne' for the first time (see also Dec 31, 1928)

1939 William Underwood Company registered "Underwood" trademark for canned deviled ham (first used in 1937).

1939 Joe Albertson opened a grocery store in Boise, Idaho.  After numerous acquisitions, mergers and reorganizations, by 2016 Albertsons Companies was the 2nd largest supermarket chain in the U.S. with more than 2,200 stores.

1939 DuPont began commercial production and sale of yarn for nylon hosiery.

1939 Lays Potato Chips are introduced.

1939 The pressure cooker is introduced by National Presto Industries at the New York World's Fair.

1939 The 1939 New York World's Fair opened. 'Dawn of a New Day' and 'the World of Tomorrow.'

1939 The final broadcast of the NBC musical variety radio show 'The Royal Gelatin Hour' (formerly 'The Fleischmann's Yeast Hour' from 1929-1936).

1939 The college fad of swallowing Live Goldfish supposedly began on the campus of Harvard University today.

1939 'Three Little Fishies' was recorded by Hal Kemp and his Orchestra.

1939 On June 7, grapefruit sized hail kills hundreds of farm animals in Rock County, Minnesota.

1939 Jeff Smith was born (died 2004).  TV's 'Frugal Gourmet' and cookbook author.

1939 U.S. agricultural exports were about $765 million a year during the 1930s (32% of total exports).

1939 The seedless watermelon was developed.

1939 Maximilian Bircher-Benner died. He was a Swiss doctor who developed the cereal product 'Muesli,' which is similar to Granola.

1939 Rep. Cleveland Sleeper Jr introduces a bill to the Maine Legislature to make it illegal to use tomatoes in clam chowder.

1939 'The Grapes of Wrath' by John Steinbeck was published.

1939 The Andrew Sisters record 'Beer Barrel Polka.'

1939 President Franklin D. Roosevelt served hot dogs to King George VI and Queen Elizabeth of England during their 1939 visit to the United States. It was the first time they had tried this American gourmet treat.

1939 Usefulness of crossbreeding to improve the efficiency of beef production demonstrated.

1939 Federal Seed Act required truthful labeling on vegetable seeds in interstate commerce and prohibited importation of low-quality seed.

1939 First grade standards were issued by USDA for a frozen product—peas.

1939 The first U.S. patent was issued for a disposable whipped cream aerosol container. Julius S. Kahn's patent was titled "An Apparatus for Mixing a Liquid with a Gas" and was specifically concerned with making whipped cream, using an ordinary soda bottle.

1939 The first Wheaties TV commercial (live) aired when host Red Barbar promoted it during a Brooklyn Dodgers game (Variety, August 30, 1939). Later the Dodgers did a promotion dressed in street clothes saying 'Yum, Yum Stuff!' (Variety, April 24, 1940)

1939 'The Man Who Came to Dinner' opened on Broadway.

1939 Employees at DuPont's factory in Wilmington, Delaware purchased the first nylon stockings for sale in the U.S. They were available nationally in May, 1940.

1939 Pan American Airways flew the first trans-Atlantic passenger service, from New York to Lisbon, Portugal.

1940 The movie 'The Grapes of Wrath' premiers in New York.  Based on John Steinbeck's novel about a poor Midwest family forced off their land during the Great Depression.

1940 Folk singer Woody Guthrie writes "This Land is Your Land."

1940 In Canada, the wartime Agricultural Supplies Board was founded.

1940 Nestle registered the trademark 'Toll House' for chocolate chip cookies.

1940 The French Sardine Company of California registered the 'Star-Kist' trademark for canned tuna.

1940 The U.S. Post Office issued a 1-cent stamp commemorating Eli Whitney inventor of the cotton gin, a machine for separating the seeds from cotton fibres.

1940 The 40 hour work week went into effect in the U.S. under the Fair Labor Standards Act.

1940 Eggs and cake are rationed in the Netherlands.

1940 There are fewer than 4,000 television sets in the U.S.

1940 David Murray Cowie died (born 1872). An American pediatrician, he was a pioneer in convincing table salt producers to add iodine to their product to reduce the incidence of goiter (swelling of the thyroid gland) in the U.S.

1940 Packaged beer (cans & bottles) outsells draught beer for the first time.

1940 There are fewer than 4,000 television sets in the U.S.

1940 There are 6,200 dairies in Connecticut.

1940 The population of the U.S. is now 132,164,569. Farmers are 18% of the labor force. There are about 6,102,000 farms, averaging about 175 acres.

1940 About 33% of U.S. farms have electricity, 25% have telephones and 58% have automobiles.

1940 York Peppermint Patties were introduced.

1940 The U.S. sheep population reached a high of 51 million.  By 2004 that number was down to 6 million.

1940 Italian operatic soprano, Louisia Tetrazzini, died. Chicken Tetrazzini, created by a New York chef, was named in her honor.

1940 John Steinbeck receives the Pulitzer Prize for his novel 'The Grapes of Wrath.'

1940 Nylon stockings went on sale for the first time in the U.S. in Wilmington, Delaware.

1940 Paul Prudhomme was born. Louisiana born chef and restaurateur. He owned his first restaurant at the age of 17, and in 1979 opened his world famous Cajun restaurant, K-Pauls. He has written several best selling cookbooks.

1940 Bugs Bunny makes his screen debut in the animated cartoon 'A Wild Hare.'

1940 The London production of 'Apple Sauce' opened at the Holborn Empire Theatre.

1940 Lillian D. Wald died. She was a scientist and nurse, and among her activities, she helped initiate the enactment of pure food laws in the U.S.

1940 Of gainfully employed persons, 18 percent were engaged in agriculture.

1940 The caves at Lascaux in France are discovered. They contain some of the earliest know art, dating back over 15,000 years. The prehistoric cave paintings (over 600) depict many large animals including aurochs, red deer, horses, stags, bison, etc.

1940 Woody Woodpecker made his debut in the cartoon 'Knock Knock.'

1940 David Gates of the music group 'Bread' was born.

1940 'Corn Silk' was recorded by Guy Lombardo and his Royal Canadians.

1940 Hot Tuna and Jefferson Airplane guitarist Jorma Kaukonen was born.

1940 The first Dairy Queen opened in Joliet, Illinois.

1940 M&M's candy invented.

1940 The final day of the New York World's Fair (opened April 30, 1939). 'Dawn of a New Day' and 'the World of Tomorrow.'

1940 The 'Original Recipe' for Kentucky Fried Chicken was developed by Harland Sanders.

1940 James Beard's first cookbook was published, 'Hors d'Oeuvres and Canapes: With a Key to the Cocktail Party'

1940 In January, Britain's Ministry of Food instituted rationing of butter, sugar and bacon.


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Today in Food HistoryFOOD TIMELINE: >  1936 to '40


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