What a tragedy it is, the modern world.
While he also invented the mousetrap, hair curling irons and the steam pump, Sir Hiram Maxim’s most famous invention was the machine gun, and for doing that he has a blue plaque in his honour on the wall of a house he once lived in during the early 20th century in Hatton Garden, London.
He was an American but lived in England and he died in 1916, just giving him time to see his machine gun invention add massively to the bloody tragedy in the trenches of the First World War. It was used on both sides.
How sad it is that the inventor of such a heinous, murderous weapon should have a plaque dedicated to him, when the honest and wholesome pea goes completely unrepresented.
Current scientific thinking has peas being first cultivated in the Near East about 11,000 years ago from a now-extinct ancestor called Pisum, which is where the name pea comes from. Peas contain no saturated fat, no cholesterol and no sodium hence are wonderfully good for you.
An interesting pea fact is that although we consider them to be vegetables, peas are in fact botanically fruit, since they contain seeds in a pod and develop from the ovary of a flower.
Peas are one of the most nutritious vegetables available, they’re rich in health promoting phytonutrients, minerals, vitamins and antioxidants.
Should you be keen to add to your levels of Vitamin K, then peas are your man as they are a great source of Vitamin K which has been found to have a potential role in bone mass building function through the promotion of osteoblastic activity inside the bone cells. I’m not really sure what that means, but it sounds very good.
Vitamin K is also of great benefit to Alzheimer’s disease patients by limiting neuronal damage in the brain.
Furthermore, peas are a rich source of many minerals such as calcium, iron, copper, zinc, and manganese.
Peas were one of the first plants studied by geneticists. The first was Thomas Andrew Knight in the 1790s, and then Gregor Mendel studied the pea further in the 1860’s mapping the pea genome.
So on one hand you have a murderous piece of machinery the world could well do without being imortalised in blue, and on the other hand a health-giving and flawless vegetable that is entirely non-represented in blue plaqueism. And that’s shameful.
So where is the blue plaque dedicated to Mr. Knight or Mr. Mendel? And I can tell you, nowhere, it is nowhere at all, and that is a tragedy.
You know where you stand with a pea, you’re healthier and happier and probably more regular. You know where you are with a machine gun too, in fact probably not standing at all.
There you go, I bet you never thought you’d be spending part of today considering pea genomes. But then that’s Medium for you, from machine guns to peas in just one short article.