The July 10 Google Doodle is honoring what would have been Eva Ekeblad’s 293rd birthday. Here are 5 key things to know about the famous Swedish scientist and agronomist!
1. She discovered that potatoes could be used in very interesting ways. Eva’s most famous discovery was that you could make flour and alcohol out of potatoes. Potatoes had been introduced in Sweden in 1658, and she began experimenting with the vegetable in 1746. Her discovery that potatoes could be cooked, crushed, and distilled to make alcohol led to a decrease in hunger and an influx of demand for potato-based vodka, according to The Independent. Talk about a trailblazer and a inspiration for all women!
2. Another member of her family was also an important person during her time. Eva’s brother, Count Pontus Fredrik De la Gardie, was married to Countess Catherine Charlotte De La Gardie. The Countess introduced a smallpox vaccination and stopped the last Swedish witch trial, according to Heavy.com.
3. She was the first woman elected to the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. Eva became the first woman elected to the famous Swedish Academy in 1748 after her potato discovery. She was just 24 years old! She remained the only female member until 1951 when physicist Lise Meitner was elected. That’s over 200 years!
4. She got married at 16. Eva married Count Claes Claesson Ekeblad, who was twice her age. She had seven children, one son and six daughters. An old book said that Eva was “her husband’s dearest companion, even during his studies and aspirations as a statesman,” according to the website Kvinnofronten.
5. Finding uses for potatoes wasn’t her only discovery. She also reportedly invented a soap and invented a bleaching method for cotton yarn. Eva was truly a pioneer and way ahead of her time!
HollywoodLifers, did you know about Eva’s discoveries before the Google Doodle? Let us know!