Many things make South Carolina unique, here are just a few of the claims that make the Palmetto State famous.
Ernest Everett Just was born in Charleston, South Carolina in 1883. He left James Island at the age of twelve to attend the Colored Normal Industrial Agricultural and Mechanics College at Orangeburg (now South Carolina State University). The pioneering African-American biologist is credited with discovering the fundamental role of the cell surface in the development of organisms.
The Cotton Chopper
The Cotton Chopper was Invented by George Washington Murray, of Sumter County, South Carolina. Born a slave, he eventually attended the University of South Carolina at Columbia and the S.C Normal Institute. Murray became a teacher and one of the first African-Americans in the U.S Congress (from 1893-1897). In 1894 he received a patent for his improved version of the Cotton Chopper. His version of the Cotton Chopper could be produced at a much more affordable rate and operated faster and better than the existing models available at the time.
Blenheim Ginger Ale
A spicy favorite since 1903, Blenheim Ginger Ale says it’s named for the natural mineral springs in Blenheim, South Carolina.
It claims the genesis of today’s ginger ale started in 1781 when James Spears, a Whig, who was attempting to elude Tory troops. As legend has it, Mr. Spears lost his shoe in a water hole. When he came back later to recover his lost shoe, he sampled the water and discovered its potent mineral contents. News of the natural spring spread and before long, folks came from far and wide to try out the cold, invigorating water of the spring.
In the later part of the 1800’s, Dr. C. R. May counseled his patients with stomach troubles to drink in the water from the mineral springs. When his patients complained about the noticeable iron-like taste of the mineral water, Dr. May supplemented it with Jamaican Ginger to help make its flavor more appealing.
Snap! Crackle! & Pop!
The Palmetto State can’t lay claim to inventing Rice Krispies, but South Carolina has a strong connection to the iconic characters who made the cereal famous. Vernon Grant was an American illustrator known for his whimsical characters and fairytale drawings. For more than 70 years, Grant created hundreds of illustrations for advertising giants, including General Electric, Gillette, Hershey’s, and Kellogg’s. He is best known as the creator of Kellogg’s Rice Krispies cereal characters Snap! Crackle! and Pop! Although born in Nebraska, Grant married and eventually moved to a farm in Rock Hill, SC where he raised cattle and grapes.
There’s a lot of Palmetto Pride riding on this one.
Many historians claim ice tea was invented at the 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis. Others point to an 1890 newspaper article about a Confederate Veterans’ reunion with a description that in addition to a meal of beef, ham, and bread, the attendees also enjoyed “880 gallons of iced tea to wash it down”. Dr. Charles Shepard operated his Pinehurst Tea Plantation in Summerville between 1888 and 1915 and was the first successful American tea plantation. We’re told there’s even a receipt from 1890 to back up Summerville’s claim to sweet tea fame! U.S. Presidents discovered the locally grown tea, and since 1987, the American Classic Tea brand of the Charleston Tea Plantation has been the official tea of the White House.
From inventors to beverages, don't sleep on the things that make South Carolina unique.