Eva Ekeblad

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Eva Ekeblad
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Eva Ekeblad
Born July 10, 1724
Sweden
Died May 15, 1786 (1786-05-16) (aged 61)
Sweden
Residence Stockholm and Västergötland
Citizenship Swedish
Fields Agronomy
Known for Making alcohol of potatoes (1746)
Influenced Reduced the hunger by making potatoes a basic food.
Notable awards Membership in the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences (1748)
Notes
First woman in the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences: full member 1748-51, honorary member 1751-86.

Eva Ekeblad (10 July 1724 – 15 May 1786), née Eva De la Gardie, was a Swedish agronomist, scientist, Salonist and noble (Countess). Her most known discovery was to make flour and alcohol out of potatoes (1746). She was the first female member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences (1748).[1][2][3]

Life[edit]

Private life[edit]

Eva De la Gardie was born to statesman count Magnus Julius De la Gardie (1668–1741) and the amateur politician and salonist Hedvig Catharina Lilje: sister of Captain Carl Julius De la Gardie and Hedvig Catharina De la Gardie and the aunt of Axel von Fersen the Younger. Her brother was married to the famous Cathérine Charlotte De la Gardie and the brother-in-law of the royal favorite Hedvig Taube.[1][3][4][5]

In 1740, Eva married at the age of 16 to the riksråd count Claes Claesson Ekeblad, and became the mother of seven children; one son and six daughters.[1][6] Among them being Claes Julius Ekeblad (1742-1808) and Hedda Piper. They spouses belonged to the elite of the Swedish nobility.[1][2]

Upon her marriage, her father gave her the estates Mariedal Castle and Lindholmen Castle, Västergötland.[7] Her spouse, additionally, owned the Stola Manor estate as well as a residence in the capital of Stockholm.

Because the frequent absence of her spouse in business, Eva Ekeblad was given the responsibility of the management of the three estates, including the task to supervise the bailiffs and preside at the country-assembly's of the parishes of the estates.[1][3][8] She is described as an imposing and temperamental with great authority: fair toward the peasantry, whom she protected against abuse from the bailiffs in return for obedience,[9] and someone who did not hesitate to rectify and punish wrongdoings during conflicts with local dignitaries.[1] She also had a leading role in the local aristocracy, and Stola manor was renowned for its good order.[10]

In the Ekeblad residence in Stockholm, she hosted a cultural salon and was described by the wife of the Spanish ambassador de marquis de Puentefuerte as "one of few aristocratic ladies whose honor was considered untainted".[1] The first concert performances of the mass music of Johan Helmich Roman were performed in her salon at the Ekeblad House.[11] She was on friendly terms with queen Louisa Ulrika.[12]

After the death of her spouse in 1771, she retired to the country side. Mariedal and Lindholmen estates served as her dower estates, the former being her personal residence, but she initially also kept control of her son's estate Stola, he being also absent from his estates like his father because of his career.[13]

In 1775, her son Claes Julius Ekeblad (1742–1808), married to Brita Horn, and three years after, Stola manor was granted to her daughter-in-law as a dower.[14] In November 1778, Eva Ekeblad was present as a witness during the birth of the future Gustav IV Adolf of Sweden.[15] She stayed in the capital for two years, during which she was much celebrated and offered several positions at court: as a lady in waiting to the queen, as överhovmästarinna (Mistress of the Robes) in succession to Ulrika Strömfelt, and as royal governess for the crown prince.[16] She was forced to refuse, however; the same year, her until then good health was affected by an illness which left her much weakened and made her periodically bedridden for her remaining eight years.[17] She spent her last six years in Mariedal Castle, were she continued to celebrated by the local aristocracy until her death.[18]

Scientific activity[edit]

In 1746, Ekeblad wrote to the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences on her discoveries of how to make flour and alcohol out of potatoes .[1][2]

Potatoes had been introduced into Sweden in 1658, but until then only cultivated in the greenhouses of the aristocracy. Ekeblad's work turned potatoes into a staple food in Sweden; it also increased the supply of wheat, rye and barley available for making bread, since potatoes could be used instead to make alcohol. This greatly improved the country's eating habits and reduced the frequency of famines. [2]

She also discovered a method of bleaching cotton textile and yarn with soap in 1751,[1] and of replacing the dangerous ingredients in cosmetics of the time by using potato flower (1752); she is said to have advertised the plant by using its flowers as hair ornaments.[2]

In 1748, Eva Ekeblad became the first woman elected to Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. There are no records of her ever having participated in the meetings of the Academy. In 1751, the Academy came to refer to her as an honorary rather than a full member, as the statutes confined membership to men.[1]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Riksarkivet Band 12 (1949), p.637
  2. ^ a b c d e http://www.bgf.nu/ljus/u/ekeblad.html
  3. ^ a b c Anteckningar om svenska qvinnor, P. G. Berg. 1864 , pp.130-131
  4. ^ Svenskt biografiskt handlexikon Herman Hofberg et al., 1906. p. 234
  5. ^ Svenskt biografiskt handlexikon Herman Hofberg et al., 1906. p. 492
  6. ^ http://www.historiesajten.se/visainfo.asp?id=582
  7. ^ Erdmann, Nils, Vid hovet och på adelsgodsen i 1700-talets Sverige: en tidskrönika, Wahlströms, Stockholm, 1926
  8. ^ Gatunamn med historia - Ekebladsvägen – Tore Hartung, sept 2001
  9. ^ Erdmann, Nils, Vid hovet och på adelsgodsen i 1700-talets Sverige: en tidskrönika, Wahlströms, Stockholm, 1926
  10. ^ Erdmann, Nils, Vid hovet och på adelsgodsen i 1700-talets Sverige: en tidskrönika, Wahlströms, Stockholm, 1926
  11. ^ Riksarkivet Band 30 (1998-2000), p.292 - Johan Helmich Roman
  12. ^ Erdmann, Nils, Vid hovet och på adelsgodsen i 1700-talets Sverige: en tidskrönika, Wahlströms, Stockholm, 1926
  13. ^ Erdmann, Nils, Vid hovet och på adelsgodsen i 1700-talets Sverige: en tidskrönika, Wahlströms, Stockholm, 1926
  14. ^ Erdmann, Nils, Vid hovet och på adelsgodsen i 1700-talets Sverige: en tidskrönika, Wahlströms, Stockholm, 1926
  15. ^ Erdmann, Nils, Vid hovet och på adelsgodsen i 1700-talets Sverige: en tidskrönika, Wahlströms, Stockholm, 1926
  16. ^ Erdmann, Nils, Vid hovet och på adelsgodsen i 1700-talets Sverige: en tidskrönika, Wahlströms, Stockholm, 1926
  17. ^ Erdmann, Nils, Vid hovet och på adelsgodsen i 1700-talets Sverige: en tidskrönika, Wahlströms, Stockholm, 1926
  18. ^ Erdmann, Nils, Vid hovet och på adelsgodsen i 1700-talets Sverige: en tidskrönika, Wahlströms, Stockholm, 1926

External links[edit]