Thursday, April 10, 2008

Old School Thursday: Bananas and Ice and Automats

National Cinnamon Crescent Day? Sure, why not?

Today’s a strange day in food history – sort of all over the place. In the mid-18th century, it was a busy day for scientists. In 1752, British surgeon William Cheselden, who described the role of saliva in digestion, died. A few years later, in 1766, Scottish physicist and mathematician Sir John Leslie was born. He went on to be the first person to freeze water artificially.

On an entirely different note, today marks the 17th anniversary of the closing of the last Horn & Hardart Automat in NYC. It was at Third Avenue and 42nd Street.

But the most interesting thing about today happened in 1633. According to some sources, today marks the anniversary of the first time a banana was seen in Great Britian – on display in Thomas Johnson’s shop window. However, archeological finds suggest that bananas were actually in England as early as the late 15th century. Mostly interesting because it’s a good reminder that we don’t really have a lock on the past - as much as we do know, we lack a real understanding of the color and nuances of daily life.

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