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

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1811 to 1819

1811 Elisha Graves Otis was born on August 3 (died 1861).  He invented the first safe elevator, and opened the door to rooftop restaurants.

1811 Andrew Meikle died. A Scottish millwright, he invented the drum threshing machine.

1811 Harriet Beecher Stowe was born on June 14.  Sister of Catherine Beecher.  Harriet was an American abolitionist and author of 'Uncle Tom's Cabin' (1852).  She was also co-author with her sister Catherine of 'The American Woman's Home: Or, Principles Of Domestic Science; Being A Guide To The Formation And Maintenance Of Economical, Healthful, Beautiful, And Christian Homes' (1869).

1811 Dr. John M. Riggs was born. First surgeon to operate on a patient under anaesthesia when he extracted a tooth using nitrous oxide (laughing gas).

1812 Richard Kirwan was born. Kirwan was an eccentric Irish chemist who hated flies. He had dysphagia, which is the inability to swallow food without convulsive movements. He always dined alone.

1812 Agoston Haraszthy de Mokcsa was born. Agoston Haraszthy de Mokcsa imported 1,400 varieties of grapevines to California in 1862 and planted the first large vineyard in California in the Sonoma Valley.  After the devastating blight destroyed much of Europe's vineyards in the late 1860s, some of these same vines, now on resistant root stock, helped rescue the French and German wine industries.

1812 Peter Gaillard of Pennsylvania received a patent for a horse drawn mowing machine.

1812 Benjamin Delessert developed the first successful process to extract sugar from sugar beets.

1812 Louisiana was admitted as the 18th state in the U.S.

1812 Charles Dickens was born.  In many of his 15 novels and hundreds of short stories, there are vivid descriptions of food and meals.

1813 Antoine Augustin Parmentier died (born 1737).  French agronomist.  Promoted the potato as a food source and instrumental in gaining its acceptance in France.

1813 Joseph Farwell Glidden was born. Glidden, an Illinois farmer, received a patent for the first commercial barbed wire on November 24, 1874. The beginning of the end to open range and the cowboy. Glidden formed the Barb Fence Company with his partner Isaac L. Ellwood, and became one of the wealthiest men in the country.

1813 Lorenzo Delmonico, famed restaurateur, was born at Marengo, Switzerland. In 1851 he joined his uncles in their catering and pastry shop in New York, Delmonico’s. He transformed the business into one of the most famous restaurants in the country.

1813 Alexander Wilson died. Scottish naturalist, ornithologist and poet. Founder of American ornithology.

1814 Last London Frost Fair on the frozen Thames River. Entertainment, and a large selection of food vendors.

1814 Erastus Brigham Bigelow was born (died 1879). Inventor of manufacturing machinery for making gingham cloth. The red & white checked tablecloths used in restaurants is a classic example of gingham.

1814 John Lineback patented the cottonseed hulling machine.

1814 Henri Nestle was born.  He invented an infant formula, farine lactee, a substitute breast milk for infants unable to breast feed. He sold the company in 1875. The company kept the Nestle name, and later expanded its products to include chocolate and condensed milk.

1814 Benjamin Thompson, Count von Rumford died.  American physician who invented the percolator, a pressure cooker and a kitchen stove.  He is frequently credited with creating baked Alaska.

1814 Antoine-Joseph (Adolphe) Sax was born.  A musical instrument maker, he invented the saxophone.

1814 Joseph Bramah died. An English engineer, among his many inventions was a beer engine, used to deliver beer from keg to glass without artificial carbonation being added.

1814 At the Horseshoe Brewery in London the metal bands on a huge beer brewing vat snapped and a tidal wave of 3,555 barrels of Porter beer crashed through the brewery walls, destroying several tenements, and killing 8 people.

1814 Sir John Bennet Lawes was born.  English agronomist, he developed a superphosphate that marked the beginnings of the artificial fertilizer industry.

1814 The British attack Washington and burn government buildings, including the National Library and the Capitol building.

1815 Benjamin Smith Barton died.  American physician and naturalist, he worte the first American botanical textbook, 'Elements of Botany' (1803).

1815 The world's first commercial cheese factory was established in Switzerland.

1815 The first natural gas well in the U.S. was discovered by accident, near Charleston, West Virginia. They had been digging a salt brine well.

1815 Andrew Jackson Downing was born. American horticulturist, author of ‘The Fruits and Fruit Trees of America’ (1845) and editor of the 'Horticulturist' periodical.

1816 Louis Bignon was born (died 1906). French agriculturist, restaurateur and chef. His Cafe Riche became the most famous in Paris and was known worldwide. He invested in farms and vineyards and was awarded the Legion of Honor for his agricultural work.

1816 The first cranberry crop was harvested in Massachusetts.

1816 Crop failures in Europe; food riots in England and France.

1816 Thomas Henry died. An apothecary in Manchester, England, he was the first to produce artificially carbonated water for sale.

1816 John Adamson of Boston, Massachusetts, received a patent for a 'Floating Dry Dock', for the repair of canal boats.

1817 Construction began on the Erie Canal which would connect the Great Lakes to the Hudson River, providing a water route to New York City and the Atlantic Ocean. (Officially opened Oct 26, 1825).

1817 Joseph A. Campbell was born (died 1900).  A fruit merchant, in 1869 he partnered with icebox maker Abraham Anderson to form a canning company that would become Campbell Soup Company.

1817 Pierre Athanase Larousse was born (died 1875). French educator and publisher. Published many outstanding reference works including the encyclopedic 15 volume Grand Dictionnaire. In 1938 the Larousse publishing house published an encyclopedia of gastronomy, 'Larousse Gastronomique' edited by Prosper Montagne.

1817 Antoine Beauvilliers Died. French chef who founded the first luxury restaurant, La Grande Taverne de Londres.

1817 The New York Stock Exchange was founded.

1817 Richard Lovell Edgeworth died. An Anglo-Irish inventor, among his many inventions and innovations were a turnip cutter, various improvements in agricultural machines, and a velocipede.

1817 The first coffee was planted in Hawaii on the Kona coast.

1817 Henry David Thoreau was born. American author, philosopher, and naturalist. Author of 'Walden; or, Life in the Woods.'

1817 Sir Joseph Henry Gilbert was born. Gilbert and his partner, Sir John Lawes, conducted agricultural experiments at Rothamsted Experimental Station, the oldest agricultural research station in the world. They are considered founding fathers of the agricultural sciences.

1817 Sir Joseph Henry Gilbert was born. An English chemist, he is the co-inventor (with John Bennet Lawes) of superphosphate fertilizer.

1817 Hippolyte Mege Mouries was born.  A French scientist, he invented margarine and patented canned meat.

1817 The first coffee is planted in Hawaii.

1818 Urbain Dubois was born (died 1901).  French chef, author of many cookbooks, but especially 'La cuisine classique' (1856).  Served as chef to Prince Alexey Orlov and Prince William of Prussia.

1818 George Palmer was born. Palmer, of Huntley and Palmer biscuit manufacturers, who introduced the first biscuit tins.

1818 Franz Gruber composed the music for Silent Night to words written by Josef Mohr. It was sung for the first time at midnight mass in St. Nicholas Church in Oberndorf, Austria.

1818 Paul Revere died. A silversmith and American Revolutionary folk hero, he also made surgical instruments and false teeth.

1818 Richard Jordan Gatling was born. Before inventing the Gatling Gun, he developed a machine for sowing rice, wheat, and other grains, and invented a steam plow.

1818 Thomas Adams was born. He manufactured the first commercially successful chewing gum, 'Black Jack.'

1818 A plague of grasshoppers devastates crops and everything green in Red River, Manitoba.

1819 The whaling era in the Hawaiian Islands began when two New England ships, the Equator and the Balena, became the first whaling ships to arrive.

1819 J.J. Wood patented a plow with interchangeable parts (September 1).

1819 Oliver Evans died.  An American inventor, he designed the first automatic flour mill.  The grain moved automatically through a series of 5 machines to deliver flour packed in barrels at the end.

1819 American steamship SS Savannah sailed from Savannah, Georgia for Liverpool, England. The first steamship to cross the Atlantic. It arrived at Liverpool on June 20, 1819.

1819 The New York State Board of Agriculture was established. It is the first organization of its kind in the U.S.

1819 Sir Joseph William Bazalgette was born. A British civil engineer, he designed the main sewer system for London.

1819 The periodical, 'American Farmer' was founded by John Skinner.

1819 Herman Melville was born (died Sept 28, 1891). American writer, best known for the novel, 'Moby Dick; or The Whale'




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