FOOD HISTORY TIMELINE
1750 to 1759
1750 Benjamin Franklin shocked himself while trying to electrocute a holiday turkey.
1751 Anders Dahl was born. A renowned Swedish botanist, the Dahlia flower was named for him.
1752 The first hospital in America opened in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
1752 William Cheselden died. An English surgeon and teacher, he was one of the first to describe the role of saliva in digestion.
1752 Benjamin Franklin flew a kite and proved a connection between lightning and electricity
1752 On September 2 1752, ‘tomorrow’ was September 14. The Gregorian Calendar went into effect in Great Britain and its colonies, to correct an accumulated 11 day discrepancy. Most of the rest of the world had switched from the Julian Calendar to the Gregorian Calendar in 1582.
1753 Benjamin Thompson, Count von Rumford was born. American physician who invented the percolator, a pressure cooker and a kitchen stove. He is frequently credited with creating baked Alaska.
1753 Franz Karl Achard was born. A German chemist, he developed the first commercial process to produce sugar from sugar beets in 1796, and in 1802 established the first sugar beet refinery.
1753 Jean Jacques Regis de Cambaceres was born. A French politician and gourmet. A gastronomic contemporary and rival of Talleyrand and Careme. The dinners he gave were famous, and Cambaceres closely supervised the food preparation. He refused to admit late-comers, and was also said to have demanded complete silence while dining.
1753 The first volume of Carolus Linnaeus 'Species Plantarum' was published, listing plants with a systematic names that are still in use today.
1754 Mary Ludwig Hays ('Molly Pitcher') was born (died Jan 22, 1832). Most famous of the American Revolutionary War soldier's wives who brought water to soldiers on the battlefront - nicknamed 'Molly Pitchers'
1754 Charles Maurice de Talleyrand-Perigord was born. 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.
1754 William Bligh was born. He became captain of the English ship, 'Bounty,' and while sailing to Tahiti to bring back breadfruit trees, the most famous mutiny in history took place.
1754 Joseph-Louis Proust born. Proust was a French chemist. In 1799 he extracted sugar from grapes, and proved it identical to sugar extracted from honey.
1754 Antoine Beauvilliers was born. He was a French chef who founded the first luxury restaurant, La Grande Taverne de Londres.
1755 The first municipal water pumping plant in America was installed at Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Water was supplied from a 70 foot high tank that was filled with water pumped from a spring through wooden pipes.
1755 Josiah Spode was born; the inventor of Fine Bone China.
1755 Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin was born. A French politician, gourmand and author of the 8 volume Physiologie du goût, ou Méditation de gastronomie transcendante, ouvrage théorique, historique et à l'ordre du jour, (‘The Physiology of Taste, or Meditation on Transcendent Gastronomy, a Work Theoretical, Historical, and Programmed’) published in 1825. It treats dining as an art form and contains many delightful and witty observations on the pleasures of the table.
1755 Nicolas-Jacque Conte was born. He invented the modern graphite pencil.
1755 Marie Antoinette, Queen consort of Louis XVI of France, was born. She would sometimes wear potato blossoms as a hair decoration. Attributed quote: "If they have no bread, let them eat cake."
1755 Oliver Evans was born (died April 15, 1819). An American inventor, he designed the first automatic flour mill. The grain moved automatically through a series of five machines to deliver flour packed in barrels at the end.
1756 John Loudon McAdam was born (died 1836). Scotish engineer who invented macadam pavement for roads.
1757 Jean-Joseph Close was born. The very first pâté de foie gras (goose liver paste) is said to have been created in Strasbourg in 1765 by a Norman chef named Jean-Joseph Close. (Although the technique for producing foie gras goes back as far as the ancient Egyptians).
1758 Alexandre Balthazar Laurent Grimod de La Reynière was born on Nov 20 (died Dec 25, 1837). French writer and gastronome. Notorious for his extravagant behavior, sharp wit and dark humor, he was one of the first food and restaurant critics.
1758 Benjamin Jackson advertised mustard for sale for the first time in America. The advertisement was in the Philadelphia Chronicle, and claimed Jackson was the first and only manufacturer of mustard in America.
1759 Josiah Wedgwood founded the Wedgwood Pottery that transformed the rough pottery of the time into the smooth, durable crockery we know today.
1759 Robert Burns was born. Scottish poet, widely regarded as the national poet of Scotland. 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.
1759 Thomas Andrew Knight was born. British horticulturist and botanist who experimented with geotropism, phototropism and heliotropism. (We all know our tropisms, don't we?).
1759 John Adlum was born (died March 14, 1836). 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.