The History of Eggplants

eggplant

The eggplant is neither oval in shape nor white, and certainly bears no relation to the egg in taste or in usage. “Eggplant,” then, is a misnomer? Well, almost. The first eggplants to reach Europe during the Middle Ages were actually a rare white species, with oval fruits that closely resemble a hen’s egg. The … Read more

History of Dogs

Dogs

“He cannot be a gentleman that loveth not a dog,” reads an old proverb, and there can be no doubt that the American loveth all things canine. There are now about 1.1 million pedigreed dogs registered in this country, about one pedigreed pooch for every 200 Americans. The number of mongrels extant is anybody’s guess. … Read more

The History of the Dictionary

Dictionary

“Everything that coruscates with effulgence is not ipso facto aurous” is a rather highfalutin way of saying “All that glitters is not gold,” but without a dictionary you’d never guess it. “Look it up in the dictionary” is a piece of advice foreign to few ears, but did you realize that until the eighteenth century … Read more

The History of Comics

The History of Comics

ZOWIE! SOCK0 GLuG! WHAP! Pow! Place those words before an American of any age and, without fail, the reaction will be: comics! In terms of longevity, complexity, and influence, those innocent little cartoon panels certainly are no joke. In fact, the comic strip and comic book together form perhaps the largest and most influential iconographic … Read more

History of Alcohol

martini

Ever wondered about the History of Alcohol? The ancient Greeks had a cocktail hour in the late afternoon or evening, complete with hors d’oeuvres. A recent joke has it that a man strolled into a crowded bar, examined the array of aperitifs, liquors, cordials, and mixers on the shelves, glanced up and down the bar … Read more

History of Christmas Cards

Christmas Cards and Santa

No one could fail to notice that most Christmas Cards today have nothing whatsoever to do with Christ or Christianity. But did you know that Yuletide greeting cards were secular from their inception? Sanctimonious individuals may annually decry the deluge of cards and bewail the “loss of religious spirit” but the fact is that few … Read more

Who Invented Chewing Gum?

Wrigleys Chewing Gum

So who Invented Chewing Gum? Everyone and their dog has enjoyed a piece of Gum. The sight of a dried up, mouldering piece of chewed Gum stuck to the underside of a desk won’t strike the non-chewer as very appetizing, but to the Gum-chewer-well, a piece of Gum is a piece of Gum. And there … Read more

What is Caviar?

What is Caviar

Synonymous with opulence is that salty, lumpy marine delicacy known as Caviar. The word is rich with princely connotations for almost everyone-including those with no idea what caviar actually is. For it has been said that those who respect Caviar’s place in the elite of epicurean treats far outnumber those who have actually tasted it. … Read more

History of Cats

cat-melon-hat

Are you an ailurophile or an ailurophobe? In plain English: Do you love or hate our feline fellow mammals? Either way, you’re in large company. Ever since the domestication of the feline, the cat has been variously regarded as a representation of the gods or an embodiment of the devil. Even today, there seems to … Read more

History of Bathtubs

history of bathtubs

This is a gullibility test. The Bathtub was introduced in England in 1828. The first tub in America was used by a Cincinnati resident named Thompson in 1842. After an argument among medical authorities concerning the benefits and hazards of bathing, the Bathtub was banned in Boston in 1845. Six years later, the first Bathtub … Read more

Who Invented the First Car and Where Did Cars Come From?

automobile-1

To the owner of an Automobile 70 years ago, air conditioning, power steering and a stereo would probably seem fit only for the most expensive of limousines. Today, we’re apt to find them in many ordinary family cars. If we insist on comfort as much as speed and reliability in the automobiles we drive, it’s … Read more

History of Dice

history of dice

Comparing the vast, electrified skyline of a modern city with the stark simplicity suggested by an ancient ruin, it’s easy to see that man has changed his environment a great deal over the past millennia. But has man’s nature changed along with his environment? Not really. Take the institution of dice gambling, for instance. We … Read more

History of Hamburgers

history of hamburgers

Sure, everyone knows that the Hamburger comes from Hamburg and the frankfurter comes from Frankfurt. What could be plainer? But it may interest you to know that while the meats themselves are German in origin, the idea of placing a Hamburger or a frankfurter in a bun is an American innovation and institution. The fact … Read more

History of Coffee

history of coffee

Coffee is one of the most popular drinks in the world. It is consumed regularly by one third of the world’s population, and consumption continues to rise steadily. At the turn of the 1900s, world exports totaled about one million tons. But by 1950, that figure had doubled. Today, several million tons of beans are … Read more

Where Did the Statue of Liberty Come From?

where did the statue of liberty come from

The Statue of Liberty was a gift to the people of the United States by the people of France. As a symbol of friendship between the two nations, the statue also commemorated the 100th anniversary of American independence. There are two other Statue of Liberties which reside in Swan Ally Island and the Luxembourg Gardens … Read more