You can probably think of a few great people in history who did big things and made great strides toward something incredible. But one name you may not have heard of before is Eva Ekeblad. Eva lived quite an extraordinary life and accomplished a great deal for a woman who lived in an age where her sex was considered inferior. Here are 8 neat facts about Eva Ekeblad.
1. Eva Ekeblad Had a Big Family
Eva married at the young age of just sixteen to count Magnus Julius De la Gardie. Together they had seven children; one son and six daughters.
2. Eva Ekeblad Had Ties to Royalty
Eva and her family all had ties to royalty. Eva herself was married to a duke. All of her children grew to also marry into royalty. She was even on friendly terms with the queen herself.
3. Eva Ekeblad Managed Several Estates
Despite managing estates being a man’s duty, Eva managed several of her own, especially after her husband passed away. She not only managed their estate together after his passing, but she also managed her son’s estate for a while as well as a third estate.
4. Her Science Saved Lives
Eva discovered a method of making alcohol and flour out of potatoes. This was huge in her time! Up until her discovery, people were still using wheat, rye, and barley for such things and famine was no stranger in that country. Her scientific discoveries changed everything and because potatoes were not a staple, it meant that more wheat, rye, and barely were available to the people to eat. In fact, she would often wear the flower of the potato in her hair, to advertise it.
5. More Potato Science
Not only did she create a way to make flour and alcohol from potatoes, but she also found a way to bleach cotton textiles and yarn with soap. This actually replaced the dangerous ingredients in the cosmetics of the time, by using potato flour in their stead.
6. The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences
Eva was the very first woman ever elected to The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. She was only considered an honorary and not an actual member though. Back then, the statutes confined membership to men only. Nonetheless, it was still a pretty big honor for that time period.
7. She Hosted Salons
Salons were places that people could get together for inspiration. They would share ideas, broaden their horizons, and talk about interesting topics. Much like a bar is today, these salons were where everybody went to. Eva hosted many of them and had a real way with people. She had a reputation for being quite loquacious.
8. She Turned Down a Position at Court
Being on friendly terms with the queen, Eva was granted the opportunity to be a lady in waiting, which was a very big deal for her time. Eva was very flattered but refused it, due to her declining health.
As you can see, Eva was a fascinating woman and made great strides in science. What an incredible lady.