Just as there are dog people and cat people, there are pancake people and waffle people. In that regard, I’m like a dog person who nevertheless owns a cat. Which is to say: I think waffles are so much more fun to eat than pancakes—all that extra surface area gets nice and crispy, and holds in the syrup so nicely. Waffles are excellent. And yet I eat pancakes more frequently for entirely practical reasons: it’s a pain to drag out (and clean) the waffle iron, buttering waffles is extra tricky, and some types of pancake ingredients just don’t lend themselves to waffles. Nevertheless, I’m decisively on Team Waffle today, because August 24 is the anniversary of the date on which, in 1869, Cornelius Swarthout of Troy, New York was awarded the first U.S. patent for a (stovetop) waffle iron.

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