Eva Ekeblad is the subject of the July 10 Google Doodle, which honors the Swedish plant scientist on her 293rd birthday. Ekeblad is famous for discovering that potatoes could be used to make flour and alcohol. She was also a traiblazer for women scientists, becoming the first woman to join the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in 1748. There wouldn’t be another female member of the academy for another 203 years.
“Today we celebrate Eva Ekeblad’s 293rd birthday. The Swedish scientist brought potatoes, then a greenhouse curiosity, to the people,” Google notes. “Eva discovered the starch was humble but mighty – potatoes could be ground into flour or distilled into spirits. Her discovery helped reduce famine in years to come.”
Ekeblad was born on July 10, 1724 and died on May 15, 1786. She was 61 years old.
Here’s what you need to know about Ekeblad’s life and career.
1. Eva Ekeblad Discovered How to Use Potatoes to Make Flour & Vodka
2. Her Sister-In-Law Famously Stopped the Last Witch Trial in Sweden
3. She Was Married to a Count Twice Her Age at 16 & Had 7 Children
4. She Was the First Woman Elected to the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences & The Only 1 Until 1951
5. Vodka Can Be Made With the Distillation of Potatoes