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Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Illustrious former resident

After plugging our address into a web search today, my roommate Steve came across a fun factoid: Our house was once the residence of Reid R. Ashworth, who became Chief Food Inspector for Washington, D.C. in 1916 and remained in that position through the 1930s. (His address was given in a 1935 list of nominees to the board of the American Public Health Association.) Hopefully the house isn't haunted by ghosts of food-borne illnesses past.

My search for more information about Mr. Ashworth led to perusing the January 1920 issue of the American Food Journal in Google Books, which is quite fascinating. Among the hard-hitting articles:
Bread Most Essential Food

THIS is the morning of a new day for the baker.

Aroused to the importance of bread in the diet, Americans are buying and eating more bread today than they did yesterday, and they will buy still more tomorrow. People are beginning to be aware that bread is the only low priced good food, and at the same time the most essential of all foods. When more people learn these facts, more and more bread will be consumed. [...]

And also:
Perhaps there is no disease of the potato more common than potato scab. It has been called variously Scab, Scurf, Spot and Bust, but in order to distinguish it from the less well-known Powdery Scab, it seems advisable to use the name Common Scab for it, says the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, Bureau of Plant Industry. [...]

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