Thursday, July 09, 2009

Old School Thursday: Diet Coke! Microwaves! Refrigeration!

Today is all about technology. Well, mostly – it’s also National Sugar Cookie Day. Not technological exactly, but considering how many sugar cookies are produced each year using modern technology and manufacturing processes, it’s close enough.

First, today is Jacob Perkins’ birthday (1766). Perkins received the first US patent for a refrigerating machine. Over a hundred years later, in 1869, Henry Tibbe invented the corncob pipe, which doesn’t exactly help us eat better, but it is at least made of food and it has certainly claimed its spot in pop culture history, thanks to a certain snowman.

A few years after that, in 1872, John F. Blondel patented the first doughnut cutter. In 1887, another John – Dickenson this time – introduced paper napkins at an annual company dinner. But wait – the 19th century isn’t through with its contributions. In 1894, Percy LeBaron Spencer, patron saint of the working mother, was born. He’s the fabulous man who invented the microwave (in 1946 after, famously, he noticed that a chocolate bar in his pocket melted after being exposed to radiation).

Finally, today should probably be a national holiday because 27 years ago, Diet Coke was introduced. Diet Coke, without you, I’m not sure where I’d be right now. Probably still asleep.

In addition to all the technology and the important births, today is the anniversary of the death of US President (and fellow W&M alum) Zachary Taylor (1850), who supposedly died after eating too much strawberry ice cream on the 4th of July and developing peritonitis.

So, to celebrate? A little strawberry ice cream, a lot of Diet Coke, and maybe some doughnuts served on paper napkins and warmed in the microwave.

1 comment:

Joyce said...

Happy belated birthday Diet Coke! Thank you for 27 years of keeping me awake.


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