Week of June 11, 2023

Neato Namesakes, part 2


Jules Leotard, French acrobatic performer and creator of the flying trapeze routine, also created the flexible, skintight one-piece garment that we call a leotard.


Working with physically challenged detainees at a WWI British internment camp, Joseph Pilates developed the low-impact techniques for strength and flexibility which bear his name.


James Brudenell, 7th Earl of Cardigan, was a flashy dresser before he led the Charge of the Light Brigade during the Crimean War in 1854. Despite his dubious command performance in that battle, the knitted waistcoats he wore became popular and are still known as cardigans.


Generations of indigenous Australians enjoyed the native macadamia nuts before they bore that name, but after a friend of chemist, doctor, and politician John Macadam had the nuts studied (and confirmed they didn’t poison a bold soul who tried the unfamiliar food), he named the food for his friend. Ironically, John Macadam died young at sea and never himself bit into one of the tasty morsels.


In 1846, Belgian instrument designer Adolphe Sax was seeking a “robust lower voice” to join existing wind instruments, so he created and patented the saxophone.


After the Eiffel Tower was unveiled for the 1889 World’s Fair in Paris, George Ferris Jr. created the original enormous Ferris Wheel for the Columbian Exposition World’s Fair in Chicago to amaze crowds with a huge metal structure they could even ride on.


Candido Jacuzzi, whose son Kenneth suffered from rheumatoid arthritis, developed a water pump to give him pain relief through hydrotherapy. Eventually he began developing and selling the larger units which now bear his name.