Laura Scudder created the first modern bag of potato chips in 1953. Previously, they were sold out of wooden barrels or scooped from behind glass counters.

What A Way To Go

Sherwood Anderson was a prominent American short-story writer and novelist from the 1920s to the 1940s. When Anderson was 64, he took a cruise to South America with his wife. Unfortunately he got sick on the journey, with intestinal discomfort, and had to disembark in Panama to go to a hospital. Anderson died in Colon, Panama in March 1941. He accidentally swallowed a toothpick while drinking a martini on a cruise. An autopsy revealed he had accidentally swallowed a toothpick, which had damaged his internal organs and resulted in infection and then peritonitis. It is suspected the toothpick came from either a martini or an hors h'oeuvre on the cruise.

All That Glitters Is Orange?

Usually, when we think of gold, we think of a warm yellow color. But the Nahuange, who lived in northern Colombia during the first millenium CE, intentionally treated gold jewelry so that it looked pinkish orange. A recent study analyzed 44 Nahuange artifacts from the Museum of Gold in Colombia, and found that they were made from tumbaga, a gold alloy which contains a substantial percentage of copper. They were also all "depletion gilded" which means copper was removed from the surface through hammering, a heating and cooling process, or both. The result was a golden shine on the outside which hid the metal's true high-copper content. That gilding was later removed, on purpose, to bring the copper's pinkish tones out. So initially, the jewelry makers desired golden objects, but at some later point, it was preferable to have pinkish-orange jewelry.

Boxing great Muhammad Ali suffered from Parkinson's disease later in life. Ali's doctors traced it back to the repeated head injuries he had received in the ring, a condition that came to be called "pugilistic parkinsonism."

“Swallow-Tailed Hawk.” It is plate 72 from John James Audubon's famous work of natural history "The Birds of America," which contained just over 700 North American birds. Aududon based his work on detailed studies of birds, both dead and alive, in their natural habitats. And every depiction is life-sized! This plate is actually pretty big, at 20 inches by 27 inches (53 x 69 cm). Courtesy of the Walters Art Museum.

Steve McQueen turned down leading roles in Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Apocalypse Now, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Dirty Harry, The French Connection, and Breakfast at Tiffany's.

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    HISTORICAL NON-FICTION

    By Lillian Audette

    This blog is a collection of the interesting, the weird, and sometimes the need-to-know about history, culled from around the internet. It has pictures, it has quotes, it occasionally has my own opinions on things. If you want to know more about anything posted, follow the link at the "source" on the bottom of each post. And if you really like my work, buy me a coffee or become a patron!

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