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

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1836 to 1840

1836 Charles Goodnight was born. He is said to have devised the first 'chuck wagon' from an Army wagon in the 1850s or 1860s, with various shelves and compartments for food, equipment, utensils, medical supplies, etc.

1836 The Astor House luxury hotel opened in New York City. Built by John Jacob Astor, it was located on Broadway between Vesey and Barclay Streets.

1836 John Molson died (born Dec 28, 1763). Founder of Molson Brewing Company in Montreal, Canada.

1836 Charles Ranhofer was born (died Oct 9, 1899).  Chef at Delmonico's Restaurant in New York City from 1862 to 1896. Wrote cookbook 'The Epicurean' (1894).

1836 Isabella Beeton was born. A famous Victorian home economist, author of 'Mrs Beeton's Book of Household Management.' The book, popularly known as 'Mrs Beeton's Cookbook,' contained a compilation of over 900 recipes and advice on all aspects of running a middle class household.

1836 Sir Thomas Clifford Allbutt was born. An English physician, he invented the short (6 inch) clinical thermometer. Before this a foot long thermometer was used that took 20 minutes to determine a patient's temperature. Ouch!

1836 John Adlum died (born April 29, 1759).  American viticulturist, he is sometimes mistakenly credited with developing the Catawba grape. He was a pioneer in cultivation of native grape varieties, and certainly was instrumental in popularizing the Catawba grape.

1836 Antoine-Laurent de Jussieu died. A French botanist whose ideas formed the foundation of a  natural plant classification system.

1836 Charles Darwin returned to England after his 5 year voyage studying flora and fauna around the world.

1836 Alonzo Dwight Philips patented the phosphorous friction safety match in the U.S.

1836 John Loudon McAdam died (born 1756). A Scotish engineer, he invented macadam pavement for roads.

1836 Laroy S. Starrett was born. American inventor, he received more than 100 patents. His first patent was for a meat chopping machine named the 'Hasher'

1836 Max Eyth was born (died 1906).  German engineer and inventor working with agricultural machinery in England and Germany. He founded the German Agricultural Society (1884).

1836 African American inventor, Henry Blair of Maryland, received a patent for a cotton seed planter.

1837 Alexandre Balthazar Laurent Grimod de La Reynière died.  French writer and gastronome.  Notorious for his extravagant behavior, sharp wit and dark humor, he was one of the first food and restaurant critics.

1837 Chicago was incorporated as a city (population 4,200).

1837 Joseph McCoy was born (died 1915).  American cattleman, he promoted Abilene, Kansas as a terminus for Texas cattle drives (the Chisholm Trail), shipping the cattle from there by rail to big cities in the Midwest and East.

1837 John Lea and William Perrins of Worcester, England started manufacturing Worcester Sauce (Worcestershire).

1837 John Wesley Hyatt was born. He developed the process for making celluloid, the first synthetic plastic. He also invented a water purifying system and a sugar cane mill.

1837 Threshing machine patented. A threshing machine powered by a single horse treadmill was patented in Winthrop, Maine, by Hiram A. and John A. Pitts.

1837 Louis, Marquis de Cussy died. French gastronome, a friend of Grimod de la Reyniere, who stated that Cussy had invented 366 different ways to prepare chicken. Cussy wrote 'Les Classiques de la table'.

1837 The beginning of the Victorian Era. King William IV died and his 18 year old niece Victoria became Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. Her reign lasted for 63 years.

1838 The Anti-Corn Law League was founded in Great Britain by Richard Cobden. The Corn Laws levied tariffs on imported food, which raised food prices.

1838 The first Flea Circus in the U.S. opened at 187 Broadway in New York City.

1838 John Wanamaker was born. Founder of Wanamaker's department store, the first store in U.S. with electric arc lamps, first with a telephone, first to offer money back guarantee. He also financed Anna Jarvis's successful campaign to recognize Mother's Day as an official holiday.

1838 The first state temperance law was passed in Tennessee.

1838 Margaret E. Knight was born. American inventor, she invented an improved paper bag machine to make bags with flat bottoms.

1838 John Muir was born. Muir was a naturalist who was largely responsible for the establishment of Sequoia and Yosemite national parks in California in 1890.

1838 Thomas Andrew Knight died. British horticulturalist and botanist who experimented with geotropism, phototropism and heliotropism.

1838 Charles Maurice de Talleyrand-Perigord Died.  Known simply as Talleyrand, French statesman, diplomat and grand gourmet, called the 'first fork of France.'  He served at the top levels of French governments for almost 50 years. During this time his chefs included Bouchee, Careme, and Avice. Many culinary preparations have been created or named for him.

1838 It supposedly rained frogs in London on July 30.

1838 The Great Pastry War began. A brief conflict began between Mexico and France caused by a French pastry cook who claimed that some Mexican Army soldiers had damaged his restaurant. The Mexican government refused to pay for damages. Several other countries had pressed the Mexican government for similar claims in the past due to civil unrest in Mexico. France decided to do something about it, and sent a fleet to Veracruz and fired on the fortress outside the harbor. They occupied the city on April 16, 1838, and through the mediation of Great Britain were promised payment of 600,000 pesos for the damages. They withdrew on March 9, 1839.

1838 Cleveland Abbe was born. Abbe was an astronomer and meteorologist, and is considered the "father of the U.S. Weather Bureau." The Weather Bureau (National Weather Service) was authorized by Congress in 1870.

1838 Julius Hatch, of Great Bend, Pennsylvania was granted patent for a "Machine for sowing plaster, lime, ashes, seed, grain and other separable substances".

1838 Pierre-Marie-Alexis Millardet was born. A French botanist, he saved the vineyards of France from total destruction by the grape phylloxera, a small greenish-yellow insect which sucks the fluid from grapevines. He did so by grafting the French vines on American rootstock, which was resistant to phylloxera. He also developed the first widely used plant fungicide.

1839 'Kentucky Housewife' by Lettice Bryan was published.

1839 Indian tea became available in Britain for the first time. Up until this time only tea from China had been available, and that was very expensive. The import of Indian tea brought the price down so all could afford it, and it quickly became the national drink.

1839 The Great Pastry War ended. See 1838.

1839 Gustavus Franklin Swift was born. Founder of the meat-packing business Swift & Co., the inventor of the refrigerated railway car, and the first to ship 'dressed' beef to eastern markets instead of live animals.

1839 George Cadbury was born. He took over his father's chocolate business and built it into a major chocolate manufacturer.

1839 Marie, Vicomte de Botherel installed kitchens on buses in Paris to serve food. The venture failed, but they were probably the first 'dining cars’.

1839 or 1842 Adolphus Busch was born in either 1839 or 1842 near Mainz, Germany. He founded Annheuser Busch in 1866 with his father-in-law, Eberhard Anheuser. Annheuser Busch is the world's largest brewer.

1839 U.S. agricultural exports for the 1930s were about $74 million a year.

1840 During this decade there is an increasing use of factory made machinery by farmers, which in turn increases their need for cash and also encourges larger scale commercial farming.

The U.S. population is 17,069,453. Farmers are about 69% of the labor force.

1840 Sir Hiram Maxim was born. An American born inventor. Among his hundreds of inventions were a hair curling iron, a mousetrap, an automatic sprinkling system, gas motors, and a machine gun.

1840 Emile Zola was born. French writer and critic who was also known as a gourmand. His detailed descriptions of simple meals, banquets and eating in his novels are among the best to be found anywhere. He was also known for his own luxury dinner parties. "What will be the death of me are bouillabaisses, food spiced with pimiento, shellfish, and a load of exquisite rubbish which I eat in disproportionate quantities."

1840 Joseph Gibbons received a patent for a seeding machine.

1840 Luther Crowell was born. He invented a machine to make square bottomed grocery bags.




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