Chocolate Cake Day, Thomas Crapper Day

~★~♥~♥~★~ El Morno! ♥~★~★~♥ ~
January 27, 2014

Snow crystals and parsley

★~ Today’s Quote:  Sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast. ~ Lewis Carroll

★~ Chocolate Cake Day:


Cakes have a rich culinary history. In Greece, cakes (or “plakous”) were heavy and flat, and people served them with nuts and honey. The Romans made cakes that were more like cheesecake or pastry, and presented them as offerings to the gods. In Medieval England, people used the words “bread” and cake” interchangeably to refer to anything made with flour dough.

A company called O. Duff and Sons created the first boxed cake mix in the late 1920s. In 1947, after years of research and development, General Mills released the first “just add water” Betty Crocker cake mixes. The available flavors were Ginger, Spice, Yellow, and White. In 1948, Pillsbury introduced the first chocolate cake mix.

Today, the most popular kind of cake is chocolate.

★~ Today in History:


♥~ 1870 – Kappa Alpha Theta, the first women’s Greek letter society, or sorority, was founded at Indiana Asbury University — now DePauw University — in Greencastle, Indiana.

♥~ 1880 – Thomas Alva Edison of Menlo Park, NJ patented the electric incandescent lamp. We’ve been turning it on ever since…

♥~ 1968 – The Bee Gees played their first American concert, as a group. They earned $50,000 to entertain at the Anaheim Convention Center in California.

♥~ 1968 – Otis Redding’s (Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay was released, seven weeks after the singer’s death. It became #1 on March 16, 1968 and remained at the top spot for a month.

♥~ 1976 – Laverne and Shirley, a spin-off from Happy Days, premiered on ABC TV. Penny Marshall starred as Laverne De Fazio and Cindy Williams was Shirley Feeney. The show ran through May 10, 1983.

♥~ 1984 – ‘The Great One’, Wayne Gretzky, set a National Hockey League record for consecutive game scoring, as his streak ended at 51 games. The streak began on October 5, 1983, ending with the L.A. Kings defeating the Edmonton Oilers, 4-2. Gretzky collected 153 points (61 goals and 92 assists) during the run. Gretzky left Edmonton to play for the Kings in 1988.

★~Born Today:

alice in wonderland

♥~ 1756 – Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (Theophilus) composer: Don Giovanni, The Marriage of Figaro, Symphony #41, Requiem, A Little Night Music; died in 1791; died Dec 5, 1791

♥~ 1832 – Lewis Carroll (Charles Dodgson) mathematician, writer: Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Through the Looking Glass, The Hunting of the Snark; died Jan 14, 1898

♥~ 1948 – Mikhail Baryshnikov, Ballet dancer, a household name even to non-balletomanes. Widely considered to be one of the greatest and biggest names in dance.

★~ Good to Know: Thomas Crapper Day: 


Thomas Crapper is also celebrated today as  one of history’s great inventors – he died today in the 1910. But what is the real truth about Thomas….well according to Snoops, the on-line authority for truth, and a few other authorities here is the scoop.

Thomas Crapper, was an elusive figure, most people familiar with his name know him as a real celebrated figure in Victorian England, an ingenious plumber who invented the modern flush toilet; others believe him to be nothing more than a hoax, the whimsical creation of a satirical writer. The truth lies somewhere in between.

Much of the confusion stems from a 1969 book by Wallace Reyburn, Flushed with Pride: The Story of Thomas Crapper. Reyburn’s “biography” of Crapper has often been dismissed as a complete fabrication, as some of his other works (most notably Bust-Up: The Uplifting Tale of Otto Titzling and the Development of the Bra) are obvious satirical fiction. Although Flushed with Pride is, like Bust-Up, a tongue-in-cheek work full of puns, jokes, and exaggerations, Reyburn did not invent the person of Thomas Crapper as he did Otto Titzling. In Flushed with Pride, Reyburn’s satire rests on the framework of a real man’s life. Thomas Crapper was not, as Reyburn wrote, the inventor of the flush toilet, a master plumber by appointment to the royals who was knighted by Queen Victoria, or an important figure whose achievements were written up in the Encyclopedia Britannica, and one searches in vain for evidence that contemporary authorities took any notice of Thomas Crapper, for mention of him in biographical dictionaries, or for his obituary notice in the London Times. But although Thomas Crapper may not have been a man of importance to his contemporaries, he was indeed a real person, a sanitary engineer in 19th century London who ran his own plumbing concern, who took out several patents on plumbing-related devices, and whose name can still be spotted on manhole covers around

Although Thomas Crapper took out nine plumbing patents between 1881 and 1896, none of these patents was for the “valveless water-waste preventer” he is often credited with having invented. The first patent for a siphonic flush was taken out by Joseph Adamson in 1853, eight years before Crapper started his plumbing business. Many types of siphonic systems were patented in the 1880s, but none by a Crapper until George Crapper, Thomas’ nephew, was awarded an 1897 patent for “improvements in or relating to automatic syphon flushing tanks.” Crapper may have sold or installed water closets, but he didn’t have much to do with their development.

Alexander Cummings is generally credited with inventing the first flush mechanism in 1775 (more than 50 years before Crapper was born), and plumbers Joseph Bramah and Thomas Twyford further developed the technology with improvements such as the float-and-valve system. Thomas Crapper, said an article in Plumbing and Mechanical Magazine, “should best be remembered as a merchant of plumbing products, a terrific salesman and advertising genius.”

A related legend has it that U.S. soldiers stationed in England during World War I (some of whom had little or no experience with indoor plumbing) saw toilets marked with the name ‘CRAPPER’ and brought the word home as a synonym for ‘toilet’ or ‘bathroom.’ Although the word ‘crap’ (used in a scatological sense) antedates Thomas Crapper and is therefore not derived from his name, the origins of ‘crapper’ as a synonym for ‘toilet’ are unknown, other than that it is a particularly American term whose earliest print citings come from the 1930s.


Thomas Crapper and Chocolate Cake just did not pair well at the top of El Morno, so I changed the format a bit today. I do believe each is worth just not along side one another. Plus it seems we have been talking a lot about toilets lately.

Schools are closed, drifts are high, and it’s cold. I went out and spread bread crumbs in the front yard for our feathered friends. Everyone deserves a break right now. We have all the essentials so I guess we will just stick close to the humble abode. There is no place like home.

Have a most Merry Monday!

Odd Loves Company!

14 thoughts on “Chocolate Cake Day, Thomas Crapper Day

    • Hope you did! We bought two slices when we braved the cold and went out. Both of us were sick of being inside.

  1. Morno,
    If his last name really was Crapper and he wants to claim the fame for inventing the flush toilet. I vote for going along with it.
    Chocolate cake sounds good.
    Hope you are staying home and staying warm.

    • You have a point. Why not! Chocolate cake was good. I had a piece. We were home most the day warm and toasty.

  2. Love chocolate cake! Need to work that in sometime soon.
    Another nice day although it is the calm before the storm. A good chance I may be at home tomorrow.
    Stay inside & stay warm!

  3. Argh, this weather is BEASTLY!! Good time to hunker down, stay home, and eat chocolate cake.
    Interesting that three such famous men should share the same birthdate. The stars must have been aligned just right for success, huh?
    Here’s hoping Spring will be here soon — this is the longest winter I can remember!

    • Uhm, longest winter ever? It’s not even the end of January but we shall preserver. We did go out for a bit, tho, and it took so much energy both Cole and I were exhausted when we came home.
      I’ve always found it interesting how events seem to connect. I’ve wanted to do more around that on El Morno…maybe this year. It is interesting.

  4. Our weather has been pretty nice these last few days. However the winds are supposed to start mid-week. I can’t believe we still have 3 more days of Jan. left. It feels like it’s been Jan. for months now.
    Chocolate cake does sound good.

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