FOOD HISTORY TIMELINE
1900 to 1905
1900 There were 25,000 pushcarts selling food in New York City.
1900 Typical U.S. food prices: Sugar 4¢ lb; Eggs 14¢ dozen; Butter 25¢ lb.
1900 Commercial bakeries now produce 25% of U.S. bread.
1900 Telephones outnumber bathtubs in the U.S.
1900 Campbell's Soup won a gold medal for their condensed soups at the Paris Exposition of 1900.
1900 Chiclets chewing gum, with a hard sugar coating, was introduced.
1900 Felix Hoffman of the German Farbenfabriken of Elberfeld Company was issued U.S. patent 644,077 for 'Acetyl Salicylic Acid'' - soon to be marketed by Bayer AG as the familiar pain reliever, Aspirin.
1900 Dos Equis (XX) Mexican Beer was first brewed in 1900 and was originally named 'Siglo XX' to signify the new millennium. Now it is simply called Dos Equis 'XX'.
1900 Hershey's Milk Chocolate Bar was created.
1900 Ferdinand Carre died. In 1859 he invented the ammonia vapor compression system for refrigeration. Vapor compression is still the system most widely used today.
1900 Charles Elton was born. Elton was an English biologist who first developed the idea of a 'food chain.'
1900 Fred Waring, musician, was born. Frederick Osius worked on improving the electric blender, and went to Waring for financial backing. Waring backed its development, in part, so he could puree raw vegetables for the ulcer diet his doctors prescribed. The Waring Blender (originally called the Miracle Mixer) debuted in 1937 and sold for $29.75. By 1954 one million Waring Blendors had been sold.
1900 One of the many claims to the origin of the hamburger, is that Louis Lassing (or Lassen) first served hamburgers on a bun in his diner in New Haven, Connecticut.
1900 Coca-Cola goes on sale for the first time in Britain.
1900 Sir John Bennet Lawes died. An English agronomist, he founded the artificial fertilizer industry. Together with Sir Joseph Gilbert, they conducted agricultural experiments at Rothamsted Experimental Station, the oldest agricultural research station in the world. They are considered the founding fathers of agricultural sciences.
1900 U.S. Secretary of State John Hay announced the Open Door Policy to encourage trade with China.
1900 Hotelier John Willard Marriott was born. Beginning with Hot Shoppe restaurants, then airline catering, and then motels, Marriott built his business into one of the largest, fastest growing, and most profitable hotel and restaurant businesses in the U.S.
1900 Maria Telkes was born. A Hungarian born American biophysicist & chemist, she was a pioneer in using solar energy in heating applications. Among other things, she developed a solar heated sea water distillation system and a solar powdered stove.
1900 Chicago completed the first modern sewage system in the U.S.
1900 The average U.S. farm is 147 acres.
1900 Work projects for farm youth organized; the name '4-H' adopted in 1913.
1900 Of gainfully employed persons, 38 percent were engaged in agriculture.
1900 First International Livestock Exposition in Chicago.
1900 The population of the U.S. is now 76,212,168. Farmers are 38% of the labor force. There are about 5,740,000 farms, averaging about 147 acres.
1900 Joseph A. Campbell died (born 1817). A fruit merchant, in 1869 he partnered with icebox maker Abraham Anderson to form a canning company that would become Campbell Soup Company.
1900 Carry Nation brought her campaign against alcohol to Wichita, Kansas, when she smashed the bar at the elegant Carey Hotel.
1900 Casey Jones (John Luther Jones) died (born March 14, 1864). Famed railroad engineer of the passenger train, the Cannonball Express, which crashed into a freight train near Vaughn, Mississippi. He died trying to stop his train and was immortalized as a hero in Wallace Saunders, 'The Ballad of Casey Jones'.
1901 One-fourth of all U.S. agricultural produce is exported.
1901 Commercial avocado production begins in Florida.
1901 National Biscuit Company registered ‘Nabisco’ trademark (biscuits, crackers, bread).
1901 Chapman Jay Root founded the Root Glass Works in Terre Haute, Indiana to manufacture glass bottles that would withstand high internal pressures. In 1916 the company would win the design competition for what would become the iconic 6.5 ounce Coca-Cola bottle.
1901 Hubert Cecil Booth filed for a UK patent for a vacuum cleaner (issued U.K. No. 17,433). Because of its large size, he mounted the machine on a horse carriage, with a long hose to reach inside a house, and offered cleaning services.
1901 In Canada, the Supreme Court rules the Manitoba prohibition law of 1900 is null and void.
1901 United States Steel was incorporated by J.P. Morgan. The first billion dollar corporation.
1901 Montreal, Canada passes a by-law to make indoor toilets mandatory.
1901 King Camp Gillette and William Emery Nickerson founded the American Safety Razor Company to sell stamped steel razor blades for use with a one-time purchase razor handle. (name changed to Gillette Safety Razor Company.in 1902).
1901 King Camp Gillette applied for a patent on his disposable razor. (patent No. 775,134 issued Nov 15, 1904).
1901 Urbain Dubois died (born 1818). French chef, author of many cookbooks, but especially 'La cuisine classique' (1856). Served as chef to Prince Alexey Orlov and Prince William of Prussia.
1901 President Theodore Roosevelt invited educator Booker T. Washington to dinner at the White House. Other presidents had invited African Americans to meetings at the White House, but Washington was the first African-American to dine at the White House.
1901 A well on Spindletop Hill in Texas struck oil, the largest 'gusher' the world had ever seen. It shot oil 150 feet high at a rate of 100,000 barrels a day.
1901 In Switzerland, Suchard introduces its first milk chocolate brand 'Milka'
1901 Philip Danforth Armour, died. American industrialist who pioneered the use of refrigeration and meat canning. Armour & Co. became the largest meatpacker in the world and this helped Chicago become the meatpacking capital of the world. (The fact that Chicago is the 'Windy City' may have helped also).
1901 In Saskatchewan, Canada the Territorial Grain Growers' Association was founded (later the Saskatchewan Grain Growers' Association).
1901 The 'Picayune Creole Cookbook' was published in New Orleans.
1901 Alfred Packer is released from prison. He served 18 years for cannibalism after being stranded in the Rocky Mountains. (Actually he was convicted of murder, since cannibalism was not against the law).
1901 Fred Harvey died in Leavenworth, Kansas. Born in 1835 in London, Frederick Henry Harvey, was an American restauranteur who operated a chain of restaurants called the 'Harvey House,' and a series of railroad dining cars and hotels. The restaurants were opened along the route of the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad, and were staffed by "Harvey Girls", who over the years numbered in the thousands. Will Rogers said Harvey "kept the West in food and wives."
1901 Hubert Cecil Booth patented the vacuum cleaner. Because of its large size, he mounted the machine on a horse carriage, with a long hose to reach inside a house, and offered cleaning services.
1901 Carl Barks was born. He worked for Disney Studios and illustrated Donald Duck comics.
1901 Conrad Arnold Elvehjem Born. American biochemist who identified nicotinic acid as a vitamin (one of the B vitamins), and that a deficiency resulted in the disease pellagra.
1901 Clement Studebaker died. Founder of a family firm that became the world's largest manufacturer of horse-drawn vehicles. After his death the Studebaker company became the only horse drawn vehicle manufacturer to successfully switch to producing automobiles.
1901 New Zealand annexed the Cook Islands.
1901 Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec died. French artist who documented Parisian night life in the 1890s with his insightful posters.
1901 Sir Joseph Henry Gilbert died. An English chemist, he is the co-inventor (with John Bennet Lawes) of superphosphate fertilizer.
1901 Andre Tchelistcheff was born (died 1994). Tchelistcheff was a Russian-born U.S. enologist, was a pivotal figure in the revitalization of the California wine industry following Prohibition (1919-33) and used his Paris training in viticulture and wine making to pioneer such techniques as cold fermentation and the use of American oak barrels for aging. He was also an authority on the types of soil suitable for growing various grape varieties. Known as the "dean of American winemakers"
1901 The American Sugar Refining Co. registered the "Domino" trademark for sugar.
1901 Annie Taylor, a 43 year old non-swimming, widowed schoolteacher, accompanied by her pet kitten, became the first person to go over Niagara Falls in a barrel and survive. Her goal of making money to pay off her debts was unsuccessful. She died a pauper in 1921.
1901 Rejected by several publishers, Beatrix Potter privately printed 250 copies of 'The Tale of Peter Rabbit' for family and friends. With color illustrations added, a trade edition was published by Frederick Warne & Co. in 1902 and was an immediate success.
1902 New York baker Newman E. Drake founded Drake Bakeries, which will produce items such as Devil Dogs, Ring Dings and Yodels.
1902 Pepsi-Cola Co. is founded in North Carolina by Caleb Bradham.
1902 Alexander P Anderson was issued U.S. patent No. 707,892 for "Improvements in the Art of Treating Starch Materials." His experiments led to his creation of 'puffed wheat' and 'puffed rice.'
1902 Baron Philippe de Rothschild was born (died Jan 20, 1988). Innovative member of legendary Bordeaux wine growing family.
1902 National Biscuit Company changed the name of their Animal Biscuits to 'Barnum's Animals', and redesigned the package as a circus wagon with a string attached so it could be hung on Christmas trees. They sold for 5 cents.
1902 Clara Peller was born Aug 4 (died 1987). She is the actress who is famous for her Wendy's TV commercial, "Where's the beef?"
1902 The Clementine was developed in Algeria by Father Clement Rodier, a French missionary. It is a hybrid of the tangerine and the Seville orange (bitter orange).
1902 Reclamation Act facilitates irrigation.
1902 John L. Mason died (born 1832). Mason patented the metal screw-on lid for glass jars used for canning. (patent No. 22,186, Nov 30, 1858).
1902 The pastel-colored candy disks called NECCO wafers first appeared, named for the New England Confectionery Company.
1902 John Steinbeck was born. American novelist, some of his titles were: 'The Grapes of Wrath,' 'Tortilla Flats' and 'Cannery Row.'
1902 Tom Blake was born. The inventor of the modern surf board.
1902 Baron Philippe de Rothschild was born. (Wine producer).
1902 Julius Sterling Morton died. He was the founder of Arbor Day, first observed in Nebraska on April 10, 1872. Over one million trees were planted.
1902 Frank Hardart and Joe Horn opened the first Automat on June 9, 1902 at 818 Chestnut Street in Philadelphia. Food was in small glass doored compartments with a slot for nickles to unlock the door to retrieve your food selection. The birth date of modern fast food. (see also Dec 22, 1888)
1902 Fannie Merrit Farmer opened Miss Farmer's School of Cookery in Boston, Massachusetts.
1902 Levi Strauss died. Inventor and manufacturer of jeans. He originally planned to make canvas tents for miners in the California gold rush, but soon found that durable pants sold better.
1902 Emile Zola died. 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."
1902 Ray Kroc is born in Oak Park, Illinois. Ray Kroc sold blenders for milkshakes, and one of his customers was a restaurant in San Bernardino, California owned by Maurice and Richard McDonald. Kroc set up a chain of drive-in restaurants based on their efficient assembly line production kitchen. He opened his first restaurant on April 15, 1955 in Des Plaines, Illinois. By 1961 he had 228 restaurants and he bought out the McDonald brothers. When he died in 1984 there were over 7,500 McDonald's restaurants.
1902 Pierre-Marie-Alexis Millardet died. 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.
1902 Bernard Frank was born. American forester and conservationist, he was one of the eight co-founders of the Wilderness Society.
1902 C.H. McCormick & Bros. merged with Deering Harvester Co., Plano Manufacturing Company, Milwaukee Harvester Company, Warder, Bushnell and Glessner, to form International Harvester Company.
1903 Julius A. Landsberger, of Alameda, California, received a patent for a 'Closure for Receptacles;' a clamp for holding a cover on jars and cans, incorporated by Kerr glass into economy jars.
1903 Sanka decaffeinated coffee is introduced.
1903 The 12 story, 416 room Martha Washington Hotel opened in New York City. It was the first hotel exclusively for women (but men could eat in the restaurant).
1903 Satori Kato of Chicago, Illinois (Kato Coffee Co.) was issued the first U.S. patent for instant coffee (U.S. patent No. 735,777).
1903 In Canada, the city of Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan was incorporated.
1903 The Taj Mahal Palace & Tower opened in Mumbai, India's first Luxury hotel.
1903 Bejnamin Spock was born (died 1998). American pediatrician and author of the best selling 'Common Sense Book of Baby and Child Care' (1946).
1903 Toots Shor was born May 6 (died 1977). American restaurateur, Toots Shor's Restaurant was a gathering place for New York celebrities during the 1940s and 1950's.
1903 Luther Crowell died. He invented a machine to make square bottomed grocery bags.( U.S. Patent # 123,811, Feb 20, 1872)
1903 The first issue of the British newspaper 'The Daily Mirror' was published. It was launced as a newspaper for women, run by women.
1903 Thomas Edison electrocutes an elephant to publicly demonstrate the supposed danger of alternating current (AC). Edison was advocating direct current (DC) be adopted as a standard.
1903 First U.S. patent for instant coffee.
1903 Richard Hellmann, a New York deli owner created his recipe for bottled mayonnaise. He began to market it in 1912.
1903 Horace Fletcher published The ABC of Nutrition. In it he said that each mouthful of food should be chewed 32 times. He had no medical or scientific background.
1903 The U.S. Department of Commerce and Labor was established.
1903 Tsingtao, China's first brewery, was founded by German settlers. (Some sources say it was 1897).
1903 Richard Jordan Gatling died. Before inventing the Gatling Gun, he developed a machine for sowing rice, wheat, and other grains, and invented a steam plow.
1903 Lawrence Welk, champagne music-maker, was born.
1903 President Theodore Roosevelt established the first U.S. national bird sanctuary to protect pelicans and herons nesting on Pelican Island, near Sebastian, Florida.
1903 Gustavus Franklin Swift died.
1903 James Beard, culinary expert and cookbook author was born.
1903 The one year old Pepsi-Cola Co. registered the Pepsi-Cola trademark with the U.S. Patent Office.
1903 Louis Leakey was born. Anthropologist largely responsible for convincing scientists that Africa was the place to search for human origins, not Java or China. Together with his wife Mary, they made many significant fossil discoveries.
1903 Italo Marchiony received U.S. patent # 746,971 for an ice cream cup mold. Initially, he would fold warm waffles into a cup shape. He then developed the 2-piece mold that would make 10 cups at a time.
1903 Ford Motor Company sold its first car, a Model A.
1903 Elisha Cook Jr. was born. A well known character actor in films and TV. I remember him most as Wilmer, in the film version of the 'Maltese Falcon'.
1903 Ruth Graves Wakefield was born. Inventor of the Toll House Cookie, the first chocolate chip cookie, at the Toll House Inn neart Whitman, Massachusetts in the 1930s.
1903 The Williamsburg Bridge between Brooklyn and Manhattan opened in New York. Originally open to horse-drawn carriages, bicycles, and pedestrians, the Williamsburg Bridge soon became a vital transportation route for trolleys and elevated subway trains, spurring the growth of Brooklyn's working-class neighborhoods.
1903 The New York Times builds the Times Tower at Long Acre Square, has the name changed to Times Square and celebrated the event with a New Year's Eve Fireworks show. The beginning of an American tradition at Times Square.
1903 Wilbur and Orville Wright make the first successful flight of a self-propelled, heavier-than-air aircraft.
1903 The first Teddy Bear was introduced by Morris and Rose Michtom, Russian immigrants and owners of a toy novelty store in Brooklyn, New York. Inspired by a cartoon in the Washington Post, in which President Theodore ('Teddy') Roosevelt decided to spare the life of a bear cub orphaned during a 1902 bear hunt in Mississippi. Mrs Michtom made a toy bear and displayed it as 'Teddy's Bear' in their shop window, and the bear quickly proved enormously popular with public.
1903 The Manitoba Grain Growers' Association is founded.
1903 The King Edward Hotel opened in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. With 400 rooms and 300 baths it was advertised as completely fireproof. The hotel has had numerous additions and renovations and is currently owned by Omni Hotels.
1904 Michael J. Owens of Toledo, Ohio patents an automatic glass bottle manufacturing machine capable of producing four bottles per second; patent assigned to Toledo Glass Company.
1904 The Great Baltimore Fire destroyed more than 1,500 buildings in central Baltimore, raging from Sunday morning until 5pm on Monday.
1904 The St. Francis Hotel opened in San Francisco, California. (History of the St. Francis Hotel)
1904 Michael J. Owens received a patent for a 'Glass Shaping Machine' (patent assigned to the Toledo Glass Company).
1904 Jehane Benoît was born (died 1987). Canadian food consultant, author, TV and radio commentator. Operated her own cooking school in Montreal, Fumet de la Vieille France. Opened one of the first vegetarian restaurants in Canada, The Salad Bar, in 1935. Author of 30 books.
1904 The Trans Siberian Railway was completed, linking European Russia with the Russian Pacific Coast.
1904 The St. Regis Hotel opened in New York City. Built by John Jacob Astor IV, it was the first hotel to have central air conditioning and heating in every room.
(See also: History of the St. Regis Hotel)
1904 The Russian Baltic Fleet mistook some British fishing trawlers in the North Sea for Japanese Navy forces and fired on them. Three British fishermen were killed, and the incident almost led to war between Britain and Russia.
1904 Benjamin Holt invented the first successful track-type or crawler tractor (caterpillar tractor).
1904 King Camp Gillette was issued U.S. patent No. 775,134 for his disposable razor (applied for on Dec 3, 1901).
1904 Date palm introduced to the U.S.
1904 Adelle Davis was born. Nutritionist, and author of 'Let's Eat Right to Keep Fit.' She promoted many theories that have been labeled as unfounded and dangerous by the medical community.
1904 The first U.S. weather balloon was launched in St. Louis, Missouri.
1904 Ellen Church was born (died 1965). The first airline stewardess. (See May 15, 1930)
1904 'Pepper' Martin, baseball player was born.
1904 Ancel Keys was born (died 2004). An American nutritionist, he developed the lightweight, nutritious K ration used during WW II. He also identified saturated fats role in causing heart disease.
1904 'Pigmeat' Markham was born. American actor, comedian. ("Here comes the Judge.").
1904 Richard Pough was born. An American ecologist he was the founding president of the Nature Conservancy and helped found the World Wildlife Fund. In 1945, he was one of the first to warn about the dangers of DDT to fish and birds.
1904 The Louisiana Purchase Exposition opened in St. Louis (St. Louis World's Fair). It was at the Fair that the ice cream cone was supposed to have been invented. The hot dog and iced tea were also popularized at the Fair.
1904 The Ice Cream cone was invented. Charles E. Minches invents the ice cream cone for his customers convenience at the St. Louis World's Fair (The Louisiana Purchase Exhibition). This is only one account, there are several other candidates.
1904 Lafcadio Hearn died. (Patricio Lafcadio Tessima Hearn). A writer, translator and teacher, her wrote 'La Cuisine Creole,' the first Creole cookbook.
1904 The first subway (underground) rail system in New York City began operating. The Interborough Rapid Transit (IRT) line was 21 miles long.
1904 Clarence Nash was born. The original voice of Donald Duck.
1904 George J. French introduced French's mustard, the same year the hot dog was introduced to America at the St. Louis World's Fair.
1904 The tea bag was invented by Thomas Sullivan of New York City. He first used them to send samples to his customers instead of sending it in more expensive tins.
1904 Puffed Rice was introduced at the St. Louis World's Fair. Developed by Dr. Alexander P. Anderson of NYC, and first manufactured by American Cereal Co (which later became Quaker Oats Co.)
1904 Post Toasties were introduced by General Foods (originally called ‘Elijah's Manna.’)
1904 R. Blechyden served tea with ice at the St. Louis World's Fair and popularized iced tea.
1904 Dr. Seuss (Theodor Seuss Geisel) was born. Writer and cartoonist. A few of his childrens books were 'Green Eggs and Ham,' 'One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish,' 'Scrambled Eggs Super!' and 'The Butter Battle Book'
1905 About 41 million cases of canned food are produced in the U.S.
1905 Joseph H. Campbell Co. registered 'Campbell's' trademark for baked beans (first used in 1898).
1905 Pillsbury-Washburn Flour Mills Company registered "Pillsbury's Best" trademark (first used in 1873).
1905 J.J. McLaughlin Limited is incorporated in Toronto, Canada to produce a new beverage, 'Canada Dry Ginger Ale'.
1905 Ring-necked pheasants are introduced to Minnesota from China.
1905 The Broadway production of J.M. Barrie's most famous work opened in New York on Nov 6: 'Peter Pan; or, The Boy Who Wouldn't Grow Up'
1905 Oveta Culp Hobby was born. First secretary of the Department of Health, Education and Welfare (1953-1955).
1905 Actor Sterling Holloway was born. He was also the voice of Winnie The Pooh, the honey loving bear in Disney's animated version.
1905 Jack Teagarden, jazz trombonist was born.
1905 G. Lombardi's an Italian restaurant on Spring Street in New York City, served America’s first pizza.
1905 Popsicles were invented by Frank Epperson in 1905, they were originally called Epsicles!
1905 Thomas Adams Died. He manufactured the first commercially successful chewing gum, 'Black Jack.