Interesting Things and Words Named After Famous People

Interesting Things and Words Named After Famous People

1. Sideburns

Sideburns, the facial hair grown on the sides of the face, is the bastardization of the original burnsides, which was named after the American soldier Ambrose Burnside. Burnside is remembered for his distinctive style of facial hair, which, obviously, were his thick and luscious sideburns.

Ambrose Burnside (wikipedia)

As a Union Army general during the American Civil War of 1861-1865, he conducted successful campaigns in North Carolina and East Tennessee, as well as countering the raids of Confederate General John Hunt Morgan. However, he suffered defeats at the Battle of Fredericksburg (December 1862) and the Battle of the Crater (July 30, 1864.)

He was also the first president of the National Rifle Association, holding the office in 1871-1872.

2. Caesar salad

Everyone's favorite neither-love-nor-hate salad, the Caesar salad, was invented in Mexico by Italian restaurateur and chef Caesar Cardini.

Born in 1986 in Baveno, Italy, Cardini, with his three brothers emigrated to America, in 1913. All brothers went into restaurant business; Caesar opened several restaurants, one of them called Caesar's in Tijuana, Mexico, where he was able to avoid the restrictions of prohibition.

Caesar salad was invented by chance. On the July 4th weekend in 1924, due to the large crowd, the restaurant was running out of ingredients in the kitchen. Cardini decided to make do with what they had available –– lettuce, olive oil, raw egg, croutons, parmesan cheese and Worcestershire sauce –– and prepared and presented the mix to his customers tableside in a true showmanship. He came "right to the table with the cart and tossed each ingredient in the correct order," says his daughter Rosa Cardini of Caesar Cardini Foods.

The salad was a hit with the customers and also with Hollywood celebrities. It became so popular that in 1948 Caesar had to patent his recipe. In 1953, It was designated by the International Society of Epicures in Paris as the greatest recipe to originate in the Americas in 50 years.

3. Nicotine

Nicotine is named after the tobacco plant "Nicotiana tabacum," which in turn is named after the French ambassador in Portugal, Jean Nicot de Villemain (1530–1604.)

Jean Nicot was born in 1530 in Nîmes, France, and served as the French ambassador in Lisbon, Portugal from 1559 to 1561, under King Henry II. He is famous for being the first to introduce tobacco to France, including snuff tobacco. He sent tobacco and seeds to Paris in 1560, presented it to the French King, who promoted their medicinal use. Smoking was believed to protect against illness.

For his service to the French royal court, Nicot was given the name 'de Villemain' and land near Brie-Comte-Robert.

4. Jacuzzi

Jacuzzi is actually a federally registered trademark of Jacuzzi Inc., an industrial products manufacturing business founded in Berkeley, California by seven Italian immigrant brothers, in 1915. The firm, Jacuzzi Brothers, Inc., was led by Giocondo Jacuzzi and Candido Jacuzzi (1903–1986).

Initially, the company made industrial parts and products; their first product was airplane propeller known as the Jacuzzi 'toothpick.'

In 1943, Candido's son, Kenny, contracted rheumatoid arthritis. The boy received regular hydrotherapy treatments at local hospitals. The engineer in Candido realized that the water pumps they made for industrial use could be adapted to give his son soothing whirlpool treatments in the tub at home.

Thus he improvised on an aerating pump that could be used in a bathtub, and it was in use at their home in 1948. The news spread and the other sufferers also sought the portable whirlpool machine. After manufacturing a few units for special orders, in 1955, the company took the product to the market as a therapeutic aid, selling it in drugstores and bath supply shops.

The product was a success and demand kept growing, however, the bulk of the revenues came from sales of water pumps, marine jets, and swimming pool equipment.

5. Peter principle

"In a hierarchy every employee tends to rise to his level of incompetence." That is The Peter Principle, formulated by Canadian professor Laurence J. Peter (1919-1990), in 1969.

Peter was born in 1919 in Vancouver, Canada. In 1966, he moved to California, where he became an Associate Professor of Education at the University of Southern California. While at the university, in 1969, he and Canadian playwright Raymond Hull published a book titled The Peter Principle: Why Things Always Go Wrong. In the book, he argues "In a hierarchy every employee tends to rise to his level of incompetence... [I]n time every post tends to be occupied by an employee who is incompetent to carry out its duties... Work is accomplished by those employees who have not yet reached their level of incompetence."

The principle became one of the most profound principles of management from the University of Southern California (USC).

What did Italian engineer Candido Jacuzzi invent in 1968?
And Tossed Tales, WaPo
History of the Caesar Salad, foodandwine.com
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