Unwilling to turn away hungry customers, Cardini had a rummage in his kitchen and put together a salad from his few remaining supplies: romaine lettuce, garlic, croutons, Parmesan, hardboiled eggs, olive oil and Worcestershire sauce.
With a natural showman’s instinct, he prepared the salad at the table so the guests could watch the humble ingredients transform into something rather special.
Proud of the dish he had created in less than ideal circumstances, Cardini decided to give it his first name, Caesar.
In 1865 he was able to patent a process for making a clear, pure product which he dubbed petroleum jelly.
Travelling by horse and cart, he demonstrated the product to communities throughout New York State, and in 1872 Chesebrough registered his petroleum jelly as Vaseline, a name arrived at by combining wasser – the German word for water – with élaion, the Greek word for oil.
His hard work paid off and in 1874, 1,400 jars of Vaseline were being sold daily across the USA.
Commander Robert Peary used the product to protect his skin when he made his attempt on the North Pole in 1909.
Robert Chesebrough was knighted by Queen Victoria in 1883; he died in 1933 at the age of 96.
By the 1930s, John Mackintosh & Sons Ltd was a thriving confectionery business with more than 1,000 employees in Halifax, and a second factory in Norwich. Yet the difficult economic conditions of the era meant that ordinary people had less disposable income for luxuries like boxes of chocolates.
Realising this, in 1936 Mackintosh decided to create a range of toffees and sweets which would be coated in chocolate, making them more affordable than confectionery with a higher chocolate content.
When John died his son, Harold inherited the business, named Mackintosh’s, and in 1936 he invented Quality Street, a name inspired by the J. M. Barrie play ‘Quality Sweet’.
The businessman was revolutionary, wrapping sweets individually in coloured paper and in a decorative tin for the first time. He also introduced new technology in the world’s first twist-wrapping machine.
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