History A’la Carte March 2017


It can’t possibly be a surprise that I read tons of history articles each week. I just can’t help myself–I’ve got to share some of the fascinating things I’ve come across. Here are a few of my recent favorites: 



Globes were all the rage in 18th century

Today we’re so used to using the internet to plot routes for us wherever we’re travelling, or if you have no internet available, then there’s always the ‘old fashioned’ paper maps – perish the thought! In the 18th century there pocket sized maps but globes were so ‘in vogue’ that many affluent homes would own a pair – one terrestrial and one celestial.

First French Celebrity Chef Marie Antoine (Antonin) Carême

The first French celebrity chef Marie Antoine (Antonin) Carême was born on 8 June 1784. It is rather surprising Carême achieved such wonderful success as his initial beginnings did not seem to indicate such an illustrious future. He was one of fifteen children, and, in 1794, at the height of the French Revolution, his father left him on the streets of Paris and told him to go and seek his fortune.

–Definitely a rough start, but what he accomplished was amazing–and still influencing our dinner tables today!

The Surgeon who Operated on Himself

Leonid Ivanovich Rogozov (pictured above and below right) knew he was in trouble when he began experiencing intense pain in lower right quadrant of his abdomen. He had been feeling unwell for several days, but suddenly, his temperature skyrocketed and he was overcome by waves of nausea. The 27-year-old surgeon knew it could only be one thing: appendicitis.

–I won’t lie, this one was both squicky and fascinating.


The Superstitious Eighteenth Century

It’s easy to forget how superstitious many of our Georgian ancestors must have been. I recall encountering several of these in my childhood, still being held tenaciously by various elderly relatives and country folk of my family’s acquaintance.

–Always fascinating how somethings really never change.

Experimental 1942 glass penny sells for $70,500

A glass penny, the only known intact survivor of a World War II experiment, sold at auction Friday for $70,500 including buyer’s premium, more than twice its presale estimate of $30,000. The price was driven up in a bidding war between a phone buyer and one present in the room. The phone bidder, an American collector, won.

–glass coins are such an interesting thought, aren’t they?

Never Bring a Dog into a Drawing Room

In the Victorian era, etiquette books offered very specific advice on how to conduct oneself when paying a social call. In some cases, this advice differed from book to book and decade to decade, but in one respect all the etiquette manuals throughout the Victorian era seem to agree. When paying a call on a friend or acquaintance, one should never bring along one’s dog.

–Of course cats are an entirely different matter, right?

Victorian French Lingerie

–In the days before Victoria’s Secret…

The concept that lingerie and undergarments were visually appealing, did not become a thought until the late nineteenth century during the Victorian Era. At that time, some of the best lingerie that could be purchased came from France.


And on this note, we’ll close this installment. Until next time!


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