Read Trevor Homer's posts on the Penguin Blog.
Everything—from the mundane (the pencil) to the catastrophic (the atom bomb)—has an origin, but often it’s not what we expect. A few things you may not have known:
• Gandhi was married at age thirteen!
• Chinese fortune cookies are an American invention and were not eaten in China until the 1990s when they were advertised as “Genuine American Fortune Cookies.”
• Bayer lost the trademark for aspirin (which they had held since 1897) as part of the reparations Germany was forced to pay after World War I.
• The original idea for the electric chair came from an American dentist.
For aspiring mindblowers and wanna-be know-it-alls, The Book of Origins is a treasure trove of trivia and fascinating facts guaranteed to entertain and enlighten.
About Trevor Homer
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Published May 29, 2007
Education & Reference, Humor & Entertainment.