Thursday, June 11, 2009

Old School Thursday: Germans and Stoves and Dogs Edition

So what will you be doing to celebrate the Feast of St. Barnabas? He’s the patron saint of farmers, so it would be fitting to visit a farmer’s market, right?

Today is also National German Chocolate Day. I believe I am no longer able to feign surprise at the randomly assigned days of recognition that pop up. Anyway, I like German chocolate cake. Good for the German cake-makers for getting themselves a day.

In other news, today in 1742, Benjamin Franklin invented a stove called, logically enough, the Franklin Stove. Intellectual property sharer that he was, he didn’t patent it, specifically so that others could copy it. A few years later, though, on today in 1793, the first American stove patent was granted, to one Robert Haeterick.

A half-century later, the Germans were busy again. In 1842, Carl Paul Gottfried Linde was born. Linde grew up to become the engineer who invented mechanical refrigeration – certainly a technological advance that’s affected all of our lives. My favorite part of this story, though, is that Linde developed the refrigeration so that beer, which requires low temperatures for brewing, could be brewed year-round. Oh, the creativity that want of a good drink will spark.

Finally, sixty years ago today, FDR served hot dogs to King George VI and Queen Elizabeth during a state visit. The visiting royals had, unsurprisingly, never had hot dogs before.

So how to celebrate? Maybe with a haute dog and a bit of the German brew? After that farmer’s market visit, of course.


LoveFeast Table said...

German Chocolate Cake is my favorite cake, actually, so I am glad it has a day. I'm surprised hot dogs haven't claimed one too, or maybe they have!-Chris Ann

Kit Pollard said...

Oh I'm SURE they have. I've been writing these for a year and a half and I am now convinced that every single food product ever - no matter how esoteric - has claimed its own day. It's crazy.


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