Posts tagged ‘silver’

2012 Olympic Gold Medals are Mostly Silver

By Chad Upton | Editor

A gold medal has been awarded to the top Olympic athlete in an event since the 1904 St. Louis Summer Olympics. Although this tradition has stuck, many things have changed since the St. Louis games.

I hadn’t planned on writing much about the St. Louis Olympics, but some of the research proved too bizarre to hold back. For starters, the games were supposed to be in Chicago; but, the World Fair organizers in St. Louis promised to hold their own sporting event that would eclipse the Olympic games, unless they were awarded the games. So, the games were awarded to St. Louis.

During the marathon, Frederick Lorz dropped out of the race after nine miles and rode a car back to the start/finish to collect his clothes. But, the car broke down so he had to run the rest of the way. Officials thought he was the first to finish and he went along with it, but was later caught and banned for a year. The following year, he did win the Boston Marathon fair and square.

The actual winner of the marathon, Thomas Hicks, had a bit of help from his trainers who gave him a mix of brandy and strychnine sulfate — a poison which isn’t lethal in small doses and “stimulates” the nervous system. A postman from Cuba, Felix Carbajal, also ran in the marathon. He he snacked on rotten apples in an orchard, took a nap and then finished in fourth place. (more…)

July 25, 2012 at 2:00 am 5 comments

Table Salt Used to Indicate a Person’s Social Status

By Kaye Nemec

While table salt is an important flavoring ingredient in modern day cooking, it had a much more significant reputation in earlier centuries.

It wasn’t until the early 1900s that manufacturers began processing table salt to be used in salt shakers. Before then, salt was served in very elaborate containers that often resembled chairs or thrones.

These “salt chairs” were commonly placed at the head of the table closest to where the most important guest.  Salt was considered an extremely important substance that was to be treated with great admiration.  Important people sat “above the salt.”

In Russia it was common to have a welcoming ceremony when guests came over that included serving a piece of bread with salt. The salt was served out of the salt chair or throne. Because of the popularity of this ceremony, salt chairs became popular wedding and house warming gifts. Bigger salt chairs signified a wealthier or more prominent place in society.

Typically salt chairs were about 5 inches tall. The salt was stored in what would be the seat of the chair and a lid was placed over the salt. Because the salt could corrode silver, the seat and lid of the chair were usually gold plated. Today, antique “salt chairs” can be found selling at auctions for $500 and up.

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Sources: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Association of Small Collectors of Antique Silver

Photo: Association of Small Collectors of Antique Silver

September 29, 2010 at 12:01 am Leave a comment

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