FOOD HISTORY TIMELINE
1916 to 1920
1916 Electric refrigerators were first offered for sale, for $900.
1916 William Rosenberg founder of Dunkin' Donuts was born (died 2002).
1916 Clarence Saunders founded Piggly Wiggly grocery store chain in Memphis, Tennessee. The first true self service grocery store. (see also Oct 9, 1917)
1916 The New York Times reports that John D. Rockefeller's is the world's first billionaire.
1916 The Georgia Tech Engineers football team beat the Cumberland College Bulldogs 222 to 0.
1916 In Canada, Saskatchewan votes to abolish liquor stores.
1916 Dick Wilson was born (died 2007). Actor who played the role of Mr Whipple in Charmin toilet paper TV commercials - "Please don't squeeze the Charmin."
1916 Ruth Handler was born. Creator of the Barbie Doll (1959) and co-founder of the Mattel company in 1942.
1916 Total miles of railroad in the U.S. peaks at 254,000 miles.
1916 Nathan Handwerker opened Nathan's in Coney Island, where he sold hot dogs for a nickel.
1916 Prohibition begins in Virginia.
1916 Ruth Rogan Benerito was born. American chemist who was a pioneer in the developement of wash and wear fabrics. She also helped develop cotton fabrics that are stain resistant. Thanks to Benerito, your chef's jacket can be clean and wrinkle free.
1916 The Cafe Voltaire opened in Zurich, Switzerland. It became a meeting place for members of the Dada movement in art and literature.
1916 Funk Brothers Seed Company sold the first U.S. shipment of hybrid seed corn to Samuel Ramsay of Jacobsburg, Ohio.
1916 Charles Dawson ('Daws') Butler was born (died 1988). Voice actor. He was the original voice of Cap'n Crunch, mascot of the Quaker Oats cereal of the same name. Also the voice of Huckleberry Hound, Yogi Bear and dozens of other cartoon characters.
1916 Coca-Cola started using their new contoured bottle to stay ahead of the competition.
1916 Edna Lewis was born, southern chef and author of 'The Taste of Southern Cooking' (1976).
1916 Roald Dahl was born. British author, one of his most popular books was 'Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,' the film version was titled 'Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.' Some of his other books are 'A Piece of Cake,' 'Pig,' 'Royal Jelly,' 'Smell' and 'Lamb to the Slaughter.'
1916 The first Piggly-Wiggly supermarket opened.
1916 Cleveland Abbe died. 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.
1916 Sir Hiram Maxim died. 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.
1916 Mr. Peanut was created.
1916 Federal Farm Loan Act passed.
1916 J.L. Kraft received his first patent for making process cheese.
1917 Eduard Buchner died (born 1860). A German biochemist, awarded the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1907 for demonstrating the fermentation of carbohydrates results from the action of different enzymes contained in yeast and not the yeast cell itself. He showed that the enzyme zymase causes sugar to break up, and it can be extracted from yeast cells.
1917 Clarence Saunders, founder of Piggly Wiggly grocery store chain in Memphis (the first true self-service grocery store), received U.S. Patent #1,242,872 for a 'Self Serving Store'.
1917 William H. Fruen died (born 1845). Patented the first U.S. patent for a liquid dispensing vending machine. (see also Dec 16, 1884)
1917 Joyce chen was born. Chinese American Chef, restaurateur, author. She is credited with popularizing northern-style Chinese cuisine in the U.S.
1917 Harry Coover was born (died 2011). Inventor of 'Eastman 910' commonly known as Super Glue.
1917 Dental surgeons rejoiced. The National Hockey League was official formed in Montreal, Canada.
1917 The first Del Monte brand national advertisement appeared in the Saturday Evening Post (April 17, 1917).
1917 Irv Robbins was born (died 2008). Co-founder, with Burt Baskin, of the Baskin-Robbins ice cream parlor chain in 1946 in Glendale, California.
1917 Edward H. Johnson died. Johnson, vice-president of Thomas Edison's electric company, created the first electric Christmas tree lights which he displayed on a Christmas tree at his New York home on December 22, 1882.
1917 U.S. grade standards for potatoes issued, representing the first official grade standard for a fruit or vegetable issued by USDA.
1917 The world's first ocean-going concrete ship, Namsenfjord, was launched in Norway by N.K. Fougner.
1917 Long-term study of dairy improvement started; increased production per cow from 542 pounds of butterfat in 1920 to more than 720 pounds today.
1917 The French government regulated the price of Gruyere cheese as a war rationing method.
1917 James Buchanan ('Diamond Jim') Brady died. An American financier and philanthropist, Diamond Jim was known for his diamond jewelry and his huge appetite.
1917 In France, Salvation Army volunteer Helen Purviance made the first doughnuts for homesick U.S. soldiers. The doughnuts became a symbol of the spirit of the Salvation Army's work to ease the hardship of WW I soldiers on the frontline.
1917 Patience Gray, British cookery writer, was born. Plats Du Jour (1957), Honey From A Weed (1986)
1917 Sugar rationing began in Britain as a result of WW I.
1917 The Chattanooga Bakery in Tennessee introduced the MoonPie, marshmallow between 2 chocolate covered Graham crackers. They were supposedly developed to sell to Appalachian coal miners as a snack.
1918 H. David Dalquist, the creator of the aluminum Bundt Pan in 1950, was born (died 2005).
1918 The first U.S. cases of the deadly 'Spanish Influenza' were reported at the Army hospital in Fort Riley, Kansas. The pandemic killed more than 600,000 Americans, and almost 40 million people worldwide.
1918 'The Squab Farm' opened at the Bijou Theatre in New York.
1918 The first U.S. ocean-going concrete ship, the S.S. Faith, was launched in Oakland, California. (see also Aug 2, 1917).
1918 The Standard Time Act of 1918 was passed, authorizing Daylight Saving Time in the U.S. It became effective on March 31, 1918.
1918 Samuel Moore 'Sam' Walton was born (died 1992). Founder of Wal-Mart stores.
1918 Bob Evans was born (2007). Sausage maker and restaurateur, founder of Bob Evans Restaurants (Bob Evans Farms, Inc).
1918 Wilbur Hardee was born (died 2008). Founder of fast food chain Hardee's in 1960. (see also Sept 3, 1960 and May 5, 1961)
1918 The equine population in the U.S. (horses, donkeys, mules) reached an all-time high of 26.4 million animals.
1918 Wartime food rationing began in parts of England.
1918 Daylight Savings Time went into effect in the U.S. for the first time.
1918 Pauline Esther and Esther Pauline were born. Pauline Esther’s pen name was Abigal Van Buren and she wrote the "Dear Abby" newspaper advice column. Her twin sister Esther Pauline wrote the "Ann Landers" column advice column.
1918 Ray McIntire was born. A chemical engineer who worked for Dow Chemical Company, he invented Styrofoam.
1918 Cesar Ritz died in Kussnacht, Switzerland. World renowned hotelier who managed various resort hotels, including the Grand Hotel in Monte Carlo where he met chef Auguste Escoffier. Ritz then managed the Savoy Hotel in London, with Escoffier as his chef. Eventually he opened The Ritz Hotel in Paris in 1898, and was part owner in many other hotels and restaurants, including the Carlton in London. His name became a synonym for luxury.
1918 Ruth Eleanor 'Peg' Bracken was born. Author of the 'I Hate To Cook Book' (1960)
1918 Karen Hess, culinary historian, was born. Some of her books were 'The Taste of America' (1977) and 'Carolina Rice Kitchen: The African Connection' (1992). She also annotated Mary Randolph's 'Virginia Housewife' (1983).
1919 U.S. patent No. 1,304,623 was issued for 'Pyrex' glass (sodium borosilicate glass).
1919 William B. Ward registered 'Hostess' trademark (for breads, biscuits and cakes).
1919 Charles Strite of Stillwater, Minnesota applied for a pop-up toaster patent.
1919 J.D. (Jerome David) Salinger was born (died 2010). Author of 'The Catcher in the Rye' (1951).
1919 The first airline meals are served by Handley Page Transport Oct 11. Passengers are offered a pre-packed lunch-box, costing 3 shillings, on their London to Paris service.
1919 Jose Duval was born (died 1993). Actor and singer, he played the coffee planter, Juan Valdez, in commercials for Columbian coffee.
1919 U.S. agricultural exports were about $1.9 billion a year 1910-1919 (45% of total exports).
1919 Restaurateur Milton Parker was born. Owner of the famous Carnegie Deli in New York from 1976 until his retirement in 2002.
1919 The citizens of Enterprise, Alabama, erected a monument to the boll weevil, the pest that devastated their fields but forced residents to end their dependence on cotton and to pursue mixed farming and manufacturing.
1919 The Great Molasses Flood. On January 15, 1919, a large 50 foot high storage tank in Boston burst and sent a tidal wave of over 2 million gallons of molasses traveling at over 30 miles per hour. Houses, buildings and parts of the elevated rail system were crushed in its path. Twenty-one people died, and over 150 were injured. It took over 6 months to clean up the mess. The damage was in the millions of dollars
1919 Ernie Kovacs, innovative comedian, was born. One of Kovacs' first TV appearances was in Philadelphia in 1950 with a chef, Albert Mathis from the Gulph Mills Country Club, in a live unrehearsed cooking show titled 'Deadline for Dinner.’
1919 Henry John Heinz died. Founder of the H.J. Heinz company and creator of its slogan '57 varieties.'
1919 Marvin P. Middlemark was born. He invented the TV 'rabbit ear' antenna, and among other minor inventions, a water powered potato peeler.
1919 Congress passed the Volstead Act, which enforced the ban on the sale and consumption of alcoholic beverages. Prohibition begins.
1919 William Waldorf Astor Born. William Waldorf Astor was a cousin of John Jacob Astor IV, the great grandson of John Jacob Astor. He built the Waldorf section (1893) of what would become the Waldorf Astoria (1897). The Empire State Building (1929) now stands on the site.
1919 The Volstead Act was passed, which enforced the 18th amendment, prohibiting the sale of alcoholic beverages. It went into effect on January 16, 1920.
1919 The National Restaurant Association was founded.
1919 The California Fruit Growers Exchange began burning 'Sunkist' on their oranges. The first trademarked fresh fruit.
1919 Walter H. Deubener of St. Paul, Minnesota patented the handled shopping bag.
1919 Homogenized milk sold successfully in Torrington, Connecticut.
1920 The population of the U.S. is now 106,021,537. Farmers are 27% of the labor force. There are about 6,454,000 farms, averaging about 148 acres.
1920 Of gainfully employed persons, 27 percent were engaged in agriculture.
1920 Frank Perdue president of Perdue Farms was born (died 2005). He was the son of the company's founder Arthur Perdue. Perdue is the 3rd largest poultry company in the U.S.
1920 American Farm Bureau Federation formally organized.
1920 Gevalia coffee is introduced in Sweden.
1920 Prohibition began in the U.S., which banned the sale of all alcoholic beverages. Gangsters flourished, importing and producing bootleg alcohol, and American drank more than ever. Prohibition was finally repealed in 1933. The end of the 'noble experiment.'
(See also Dec 5, 1933).
1920 The 50-50 Club opened, supposedly the first 'speakeasy.'
1920 Eskimo Pie Patent Day (Various years are quoted, 1919, 1920 and 1922) The Eskimo Pie was patented by Christian K. Nelson, an ice cream salesman in Onawa, Iowa.
1920 The first artificial rabbit is used at a dog racing trace in Emeryville, California.
1920 John Wesley Hyatt died. He developed the process for making celluloid, the first synthetic plastic. He also invented a water purifying system and a sugar cane mill.
1920 'Chili Bean' was recorded by Frank Crumit and the Pauld Biese Trio.
1920 Arthur Perdue founded Perdue Farms in Maryland. His son Frank was also born.
1920 Edward H. Lowe born. He invented Kitty Litter in 1947.
1920 Craig Claiborne, food writer and critic, was born.
1920 Justice Oliver Wendell Homes handed down the decision of the Supreme Court, which upheld trademark violations for The Coca- Cola Company against 'The Koke Company of America'.
1920s Caesar Salad was created by Caesar Cardini in Tijuana.
1920 Fortune cookies were supposedly invented in Los Angeles.
1920 Harry Burt created the Good Humor Bar, Chocolate coated ice cream on a stick.
1920 Leona Helmsley was born (died 2007). American hotelier famous for her tyrannical behavior, and known as The Queen of Mean. (See also Dec 12 1989)
1920 President Woodrow Wilson 'officially' proclaimed the opening of the Panama Canal. The first ship actually passed through the canal on August 15, 1914, but clean-up operations and the start of WW I put off the originally scheduled grand celebration.
1920 Vermont Maple Syrup Co. registered "Vermont Maid" trademark (a blend of cane and maple syrup).
1920 Pitney Bowes introduced the first postage meter for metered mail in Stamford, Connecticut.
1920 Benjamin L. Holt died (born 1849) In 1904 he Invented the first practical track-type or crawler tractor (caterpillar tractor).