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

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Today in Food HistoryFOOD TIMELINE: >  1850 to '54




50,000 BC to 1 BC
1 AD to 1199   ·   1200 to 1399
1400 to 1499   ·   1500 to 1550
1551 to 1599   ·   1600 to 1625
1626 to 1650   ·   1651 to 1675
1676 to 1699   ·   1700 to 1719
1720 to 1739   ·   1740 to 1749
1750 to 1759   ·   1760 to 1769
1770 to 1779   ·   1780 to 1784
1785 to 1789   ·   1790 to 1794
1795 to 1799   ·   1800 to 1805
1806 to 1810   ·   1811 to 1819
1820 to 1824   ·   1825 to 1830
1831 to 1835   ·   1836 to 1840
1841 to 1845   ·   1846 to 1849
1850 to 1854   ·   1855 to 1859
1860 to 1864   ·   1865 to 1869
1870 to 1874   ·   1875 to 1879
1880 to 1884   ·   1885 to 1889
1890 to 1894   ·   1895 to 1899
1900 to 1905   ·   1906 to 1910
1911 to 1915   ·   1916 to 1920
1921 to 1925   ·   1926 to 1930
1931 to 1935   ·   1936 to 1940
1941 to 1945   ·   1946 to 1950
1951 to 1955   ·   1956 to 1960
1961 to 1965   ·   1966 to 1970
1971 to 1975   ·   1976 to 1980
1981 to 1985   ·   1986 to 1990
1991 to 1995   ·   1996 to 2000
2001 to 2005   ·   2006   ·   2007
2008   ·   2009   ·   2010
2011 to 2012   ·   2013 to 2014
2015 to 2019   ·   2020 to 2021
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

See Also: Today in Food History
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MAY   |   JUNE   |   JULY   |   AUG
SEPT   |   OCT   |   NOV   |   DEC



1850 to 1854

1850 During the 1850s the commercial corn and wheat belts begin to develop.

1850 The U.S. population is 23,191,876. Farm population is about 11,680,000 and farmers are about 64% of the labor force.

1850 The first U.S. $20 gold piece issued.

1850 California became the 31st state.

1850 Territorial Governor Alexander Ramsey declares Minnesota's first Thanksgiving Day.

1850 Jasper Newton 'Jack' Daniel was born (died 1911). Founder of Jack Daniel's Tennessee whiskey distillery.

1850 Lawrence Hargrave was born. Australian aeronaut, he invented the box kite in 1894.

1850 The city of San Francisco was incorporated.

1850 Joel Houghton of Ogden, New York was issued the first U.S. patent (No. 7,365) for a dishwashing machine.  The hand-operated machine splashed water on a rotating cylinder of dishes using a water-wheel mechanism.

1850 Gail Borden was issued U.S. patent No. 7,066 for a method to produce 'Portable Desiccated Soup-Bread' - a meat biscuit capable of long term storage.

1850 According to the 'Census of Manufacturers of 1850' there are 2,027 bakeries in the United States.

1850 Constantin Fahlberg was born.  Russian chemist, codiscoverer in 1879 (with Ira Remsen) of the artificial sweetener, Saccharin.

1850 Cesar Ritz was born in Niederwald, Switzerland. He managed the Grand Hotel in Monte Carlo and the Grand Hotel in Lucerne, Switzerland. He also worked with Escoffier at the Savoy and Carlton in London. In 1898 he opened the first hotel with his name, The Ritz Hotel in Paris. His name and his hotels became synonymous with the luxury.

1850 William Prout died. An English chemist, he was the first to classify food components into 3 main divisions - carbohydrates, fats and proteins.

1850 Sir Thomas Johnston Lipton, grocer and tea merchant, was born.

1850 There are about 1,449,000 farms in the U.S., averaging 203 acres.

1850 Lafcadio Hearn was born. (Patricio Lafcadio Tessima Hearn). A writer, translator and teacher, he wrote 'La Cuisine Creole,' the first Creole cookbook.

1850 Alinzor Clark received a patent for 'an improvement in hay-forks' (Pitchfork).

1850 U.S. president Zachary Taylor died. He supposedly developed peritonitis after eating too much of a new dessert treat, strawberry ice cream, at a 4th of July celebration.

1850 The first demonstration of a refrigerated ice-making machine. Dr John Gorrie received a patent for the machine on May 6, 1851.

1850 Henry-Rene-Albert-Guy de Maupassant was born. Among the subjects of his short stories are many about the fashionable life of Paris.

1850 Honore de Balzac Died. French author. Balzac would lock himself away during creative bursts, drinking coffee and eating only fruit and eggs. When he finally took a break, he was known to consume huge quantities of food. One report recalls that at the Véry restaurant he consumed at one sitting “a hundred Ostend oysters, twelve cutlets of salt-meadow mutton, a duck with turnips, two partridges and a Normandy sole,” not to mention the desserts, fruit and liqueurs he finished up with.

1850 There were an estimated 20 million head of buffalo sharing the western plains with 50 million open range longhorn cattle.

1851 A freak storm sinks 100 American fishing vessels off the coast of Prince Edward Island, Canada, killing more than 130 fishermen.

1851 Dr. John Gorrie of Apalachicola, Florida was granted the first U.S. patent for mechanical refrigeration in 1851.

1851 Isaac M. Singer of New York City received U.S. patent No. 8,294 for the first sewing machine with a rocking treadle.  Sewing machines had already been patented, but Singer's machine was revolutionary, having a rocking treadle design, continuous feed, and a straight, vertical needle like modern machines.

1851 John James Audubon died. Ornithologist, naturalist and artist, known mainly for his paintings and sketches of North American birds.

1851 George Brown Goode was born. Editor of 'The Fisheries and Fisheries Industries of the United States’ while Deputy Commissioner of the U.S. Commission of Fish and Fisheries.

1851 London's Great Exhibition opened in Hyde Park. It was the first international exhibition ever to be held. The Exhibition was housed in the Crystal Palace.

1851 John Gorrie patented an ice making machine, the first U.S. patent for a mechanical refrigerator.

1851 Maine is the first state to ban alcohol.

1851 Jacob Fussell, Baltimore dairyman, opens the first commercial ice-cream factory.

1851 The first cheese factory in the U.S. to make cheese from scratch was started in Rome, New York in 1851 by Jesse Williams. He had his own dairy herd and purchased more milk from other local farmers to make his cheese. By combining the milk and making large cheeses he could produce cheese with uniform taste and texture. Before then, companies would buy small batches of home made cheese curd from local farmers to make into cheese, each batch of curds producing cheese with wide differences in taste and texture from one another.

1851 Charles E. Hires was born. Manufacturer and inventor of Hires Root Beer.

1851 Sylvester Graham died in Northampton, Massachusetts. He advocated vegetarianism, temperance and the use of coarse ground whole wheat (graham) flour. He developed the Graham cracker in 1829.

1851 The first edition of the New York Times was published ('The New York Daily Times')

1851 William Hesketh Lever, first Viscount Leverhulme, was born. British entrepreneur who founded Lever Brothers, the soap and detergent manufacturer.

1851 Herman Melville's novel 'Moby Dick' was published. Captain Ahab's search for the white whale.

1851 A devastating fire destroyed about 35,000 books in the Library of Congress in Washington, DC.

1851 Melvil Dewey was born. He created the Dewey Decimal Classification system for cataloging library books.

1851 Asa Griggs Candler was born. In 1887, Asa Candler (1851-1929) a wholesale druggist, purchased the formula for Coca-Cola from John S. Pemberton an Atlanta pharmacist for $ 2,300. He sold the company in 1919 for $25 million.

1851 Dr. John Gorrie of Apalachicola, Florida invented mechanical refrigeration in 1851. Pioneer in mechanical refrigeration. He was granted the first U.S. patent for mechanical refrigeration in 1851.

1852 In South Bend, Indiana, Henry and Clement Studebaker founded H. & C. Studebaker, blacksmith and wagon building.

1852 The first illustration of 'Uncle Sam' was published in a political cartoon by satirist Frank Bellew in the New York Lantern.

1852 A 446 pound baron of beef was served to Queen Victoria and the royal family.

1852 Aluminum is a rare, expensive metal that sold for $545 per pound. In 2010 the price will be about $1.15 per pound.

1852 The Chicago Union Stock Yards opened.

1852 The first public lavatory opened for business in London.

1852 John Harvey Kellogg was born. A surgeon, vegetarian and health food pioneer, while superintendent at the Battle Creek Sanitarium, he developed the first breakfast cereals for his patients, Granose (flaked wheat) and toasted corn flakes. His brother, William K. Kellogg founded the Battle Creek Toasted Corn Flake Co. to produce cornflakes for sale to the public.

1852 Andrew Jackson Downing died. An American horticulturist, he was the author of 'The Fruits and Fruit Trees of America' (1845) and editor of the 'Horticulturist' periodical.

1852 John Fowler of Temple Gate, Bristol, UK, received Royal Letters Patent for "Improvements in Machinery for Draining Land" - believed to be the first patent for steam cultivation of the land.

1853 The U.S. acquired almost 30,000 square miles of territory (now southern New Mexico & southern Arizona) from Mexico for 10 million dollars with the signing of the Gadsen Purchase (Treaty of La Mesilla).

1853 Keebler Biscuits are introduced in Philadelphia by baker Godfrey Keebler.

1853 Gail Borden applied for a patent for condensed milk.

1853 The world's first public aquarium, The Aquatic Vivarium, opened in Regent's Park, London, England.

1853 Dr. Russell L. Hawes, of Worcester, Massachusetts received U.S. patent No. 9,812 a machine for making and folding envelopes.

1853 The first World's Fair in the U.S. opened in New York.

1853 The month and day are uncertain, but the year is correct. Native American Chef George Crum invented potato chips at Moon's Lake House in Saratoga Springs, New York.

1853 A New Years Eve dinner party for 21 scientists was held inside a life size model of an Iguanodon dinosaur on the grounds of the Crystal palace in London. Sculpture Benjamin W. Hawkins had teamed up with paleontologist Richard Owen to create more than 2 dozen lifesize models of dinosaurs for a special exhibit.

1854 Hugh Rock of Boston, Massachusetts received the first U.S. design patent for a hairbrush.

1854 The territories of Nebraska and Kansas were established.

1854 Henry David Thoreau's 'Walden' was published. It describes his two years of simple living near Walden Pond in Massachusetts. 

1854 Coffee County, Georgia was founded.

1854 Cadbury received a Royal Warrant as "manufacturers of cocoa and chocolate to Queen Victoria"

1854 Townend Glover was appointed the first U.S. federal entomologist, an “expert for collecting statistics and other information on seeds, fruits and insects of the United States.”

1854 Charles Miller of St. Louis Missouri was issued U.S. patent 10,609 for the first U.S. sewing machine that could stitch button holes.

1854 New York became the first state to fund a study of insects harmful to plants.

1854 Asa Fitch was appointed as New York state entomologist, the first such in the U.S. He studied insects and their effects on agricultural crops.

1854 C. W. Post (Charles William) was born. He founded the Postum Cereal Co. in 1895 (renamed General Foods Corp. in 1922) to manufacture Postum cereal beverage; 1897 Grape Nuts, 1904 Post Toasties (originally called Elijah's Mana).

1854 Paul Sabatier was born. Organic chemist who researched catalytic organic synthesis. The margarine, oil hydrogenation and methanol industries grew out of his research.

1854 Aaron Allen patented a folding chair. Setting up for banquets becomes a whole lot easier.

1854 The first practical street cleaning machine began operation in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  A series of brooms attached to a cylinder was turned by a chain driven by the turning of the cart's wheels.


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Today in Food HistoryFOOD TIMELINE: >  1850 to '54


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