The search engine giant Google dedicated today's Google Doodle to Countess Eva Ekeblad, marking her 293rd birthday.
Here are 5 interesting facts about her:
- Born on July 10 1724, Ekeblad was a Swedish scientist, agronomist and Countess.
- She made a significant discovery of how to make flour and produce alcohols like vodka, potato wine and moonshine using potatoes. Potatoes were introduced in Sweden in the year 1658 and were grown in the greenhouses of the aristocracy.
- In 1746, she wrote about the discoveries she made using potatoes to the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences and became the first woman to become a member of the independent, non-governmental scientific organisation. The second woman was elected as a member by the Academy of Sciences in 1951, after Ekeblad's death on May 15, 1786 at the age of 61.
- She is the reason why potatoes became a staple food in Sweden around 19th century. The spud was first believed to be inedible for humans and they were fed to animals.
- Thanks to Ekeblad, potatoes helped solve the food crisis in Sweden precipitated by the lack of cereals like barley and oats. It also boosted the alcohol consumption in the country.