FOOD HISTORY TIMELINE
1795 to 1799
1795 Josiah Wedgwood died. English inventor, artist and world renowned pottery designer and manufacturer. His daughter, Susannah, was the mother of Charles Darwin.
1795 In England, Reverend Samuel Henshall received a patent for a corkscrew.
1795 The French government offers a prize of 12,000 francs for a method of preserving food for transport to the French army. It was eventually won by Nicholas Appert who invented a successful method to can food.
1795 Friedlieb Ferdinand Runge was born. A German chemist who developed a method for obtaining sugar from beet juice.
1795 Robert Bakewell died. Bakewell was an agriculturalist who helped revolutionize cattle and sheep breeding in England. He obtained the best animals he could find and then worked with a closed herd, inbreeding only superior animals.
1795 John Bloomfield Jarvis was born. A civil engineer, he designed and built the Boston Aqueduct and the 41 mile long Croton Aqueduct (New York City's water supply for over 50 years from 1842).
1796 Robert Burns died. His poem 'Auld Lang Syne,' set to the tune of a traditional folk song, is traditionally sung at midnight to celebrate the start of the New Year.
1796 John Stevens Henslow was born. This British clergyman and botanist was a mentor of Charles Darwin. To help get farmers to apply scientific methods, he gave lectures on the fermentation of manure. He also showed Irish farmers how to get starch from rotten potatoes during the potato famine of 1845-1846.
1796 The first elephant to be brought to the U.S. arrived from Bengal, India. It was exhibited in New York, and its diet was described as: "thirty pounds of rice besides hay and straw.... all kinds of wine and spiritous liquors....and every kind of vegetable; it will also draw a cork from a bottle in its trunk."
1796 'American Cookery' by Amelia Simmons is published in Hartford. It is the first cookbook written by an American. This is one of the classic cookbooks that can be found on the Food Reference Website in the ‘Recipes’ section.
1796 Walter Hunt was born. He invented the first safety pin in 1849, which he called a 'dress pin.'
1796 The Public Land Act authorized the sale of 640 acre plots of Federal land to the public for $2.00 per acre.
1796 John Torrey was born. American botanist who did extensive studies of North American flora. He was the first professional botanist in the New World.
1796 Traditional date for the creation of the metric system, October 10.
1796 English inventor Marc Isambard Brunel received a patent for 'Ruling Books and Paper'
1796 The first Sunday newspaper in the U.S. was published in Baltimore, Maryland, the Sunday Monitor.
1797 Joseph Henry was born (died 1878). American Scientist, he was the first Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution (1846-1878), where he established a meteorological program which became the foundation of a national weather service.
1797 The first U.S. patent for a 'washing machine' was issued (possibly to Nathaniel Briggs). It was called a scrub board or wash board.
1797 Charles Newbold patented the first cast-iron plow. Farmers had doubts about the effect of the iron on the soil.
1797 Major Dubied purchased the formula for an 'absinthe elixir' and together with his son, Henri-Louis Pernod sets up an absinthe factory in Switzerland.
1798 The first American vineyard was planted in Lexington, Kentucky.
1798 Sir Benjamin Lee Guinness was born. He was the son of Arthur Guinness, and joined the family brewing business. When his father died, he became sole owner and built up the business. He was also elected Lord Mayor of Dublin in 1851.
1799 John Lindley was born (died Nov 1, 1865). British botanist and horticulturist. Wrote 'The Theory and Practice of Horticulture' (1840) and 'The Vegetable Kingdom' (1846).
1799 Michael Thomas Bass, Jr. was born (died April 29, 1884). Grandson of Bass Brewery founder, William Bass. He took control of the company in 1827, and by 1881 Bass was the largest brewery in the world.
1799 John Hetheringoton, a London haberdasher, created the top hat. A large crowd gathered to see this new hat, and he was charged with disturbing the peace (charges later dropped). The hat was an immediate success.
1799 David Douglas was born (died July 12, 1834). A Scottish botanist, he collected plants in Scotland, North America and Hawaii. The Douglas Fir is named for him.
1799 Joseph Dixon was born. An American inventor and manufacturer. Among his many accomplishments, he produced the first pencil made in the U.S.
1799 Eliakim Spooner of Vermont patented a gravity feed seed planting machine. It was not until 1840 that a truly practical seed planting machine was developed.
1799 The first U.S. weights and measures law was passed by Congress. Actually it did not set standards, but rather required the surveyor of each port to test and correct the instruments and weights used to calculate duties on imports. Basically each surveyor was on his own in setting the standards to be tested.
1799 Honore de Balzac Born. French author. Balzac would lock himself away during creative bursts, drinking coffee and eating only fruit and eggs. When he finally took a break, he was known to consume huge quantities of food. One report recalls that at the Véry restaurant he ate "a hundred Ostend oysters, twelve cutlets of salt-meadow mutton, a duck with turnips, two partridges and a Normandy sole," not to mention the desserts, fruit and liqueurs he finished up with.
1799 Eliza Acton Born. She wrote the first cookbook for the housewife, rather than for the professional chef.
1799 Joseph-Louis Proust, a French chemist, extracted sugar from grapes, and proved it identical to sugar extracted from honey.