To barbecue means to slow-cook meat at a low temperature for a long time over wood or charcoal. In America, barbecue (or BBQ) originated in the late 1800’s during Western cattle drives. The cowboys were fed the less than perfect cuts of meat, often brisket, a tough and stringy piece of meat that required five to seven hours of cooking to tenderize. Other barbecue meats used were pork butt, pork ribs, beef ribs, venison and goat.
However, barbecue was not invented in America and no one knows who invented the barbecue. The word ‘Barbecue’ might come from the Taino Indian word ‘barbacoa’ meaning meat-smoking apparatus. ‘Barbecue’ could have also originated from the French word “Barbe a queue” which means “whiskers-to-tail.”
No one is sure of the correct origins of the word.
Who Invented the Charcoal Briquette?
Ellsworth B. A. Zwoyer of Pennsylvania patented a design for charcoal briquettes in 1897. (See the image to the right) After World War One, the Zwoyer Fuel Company built charcoal briquette manufacturing plants in the United States with plants in Buffalo, NY and Fall River, MA.
There are stories circulating that Henry Ford invented the very first briquette in 1920 with the help of Thomas Edison. However, the 1897 patent obviously predates this and Ford and Edison both knew Zwoyer.
Ford is the man who popularized the gas-powered car in America and invented the assembly line for automobile manufacturing. Ford created a briquette from the wood scraps and sawdust from his car factory.
E.G. Kingsford bought Ford’s briquette and placed it into commercial production.
On this day in 1851, Moby-Dick, a novel by Herman Melville about the voyage of the whaling ship Pequod, is published by Harper & Brothers in New York. Moby-Dick is now considered a great classic of American literature and contains one of the most famous opening lines in fiction: “Call me Ishmael.” Initially, though, the book about Captain Ahab and his quest for a giant white whale was a flop.
Herman Melville was born in New York City in 1819 and as a young man spent time in the merchant marines, the U.S. Navy and on a whaling ship in the South Seas. In 1846, he published his first novel, Typee, a romantic adventure based on his experiences in Polynesia. The book was a success and a sequel, Omoo, was published in 1847. Three more novels followed, with mixed critical and commercial results. Melville’s sixth book, Moby-Dick, was first published in October 1851 in London, in three volumes titled The Whale, and then in the U.S. a month later. Melville had promised his publisher an adventure story similar to his popular earlier works, but instead, Moby-Dick was a tragic epic, influenced in part by Melville’s friend and Pittsfield, Massachusetts, neighbor, Nathaniel Hawthorne, whose novels include The Scarlet Letter.
After Moby-Dick‘s disappointing reception, Melville continued to produce novels, short stories (Bartleby) and poetry, but writing wasn’t paying the bills so in 1865 he returned to New York to work as a customs inspector, a job he held for 20 years.
Melville died in 1891, largely forgotten by the literary world. By the 1920s, scholars had rediscovered his work, particularly Moby-Dick, which would eventually become a staple of high school reading lists across the United States. Billy Budd, Melville’s final novel, was published in 1924, 33 years after his death.
Herman Melville was an American novelist, short story writer, essayist, and poet.
He was born in New York City on the 1st of August 1819.
Moby-Dick; or, The Whale is a novel was written by Herman Melville, it was first published in 1851.
Moby-Dick is considered to be one of the Great American Novels and a treasure of world literature.
– About Moby-Dick:
The story of Moby-Dick tells of the adventures of wandering sailor Ishmael, and his voyage on the whaleship Pequod, commanded by Captain Ahab.
Ishmael soon learns that Ahab has one purpose on this voyage: to seek out Moby Dick, a ferocious, enigmatic white sperm whale.
In a previous encounter, the whale destroyed Ahab’s boat and bit off his leg, which now drives Ahab to take revenge.
Herman Melville Melville died at his home in New York City early on the morning of September 28, 1891, age 72.
When he died, he was almost completely forgotten. It was not until the “Melville Revival” in the early 20th century that his work won recognition, especially Moby-Dick, which was hailed as one of the literary masterpieces of both American and world literature.
Moby Dick; Or The Whale
Bartleby, the Scrivener – A Story of Wall-Street
Typee, a Narrative of the Marquesas Islands
The White Jacket
Billy Budd & Other Stories (Wordsworth Classics)
Pierre; or The Ambiguities
The Confidence-Man: His Masquerade
– Movies about Moby-Dick:
There have also been several movies created about Moby-Dick
The Sea Beast (1926) – John Barrymore as Captain Ahab
Moby Dick (1930) – John Barrymore as Captain Ahab
Moby Dick (1956) – Gregory Peck as Captain Ahab
Moby Dick (1978) – Jack Aranson as 13 characters
Moby Dick (1998) – Patrick Stewart as Captain Ahab
Moby Dick (2011) – William Hurt as Captain Ahab