Google Doodle celebrates woman who made alcohol from potatoes

Swedish scientist Eve Ekeblad’s 293rd birthday marked with potato-themed doodle

The woman who discovered that potatoes could be turned into alcohol is celebrated in today’s Google Doodle.

Eve Ekeblad, born on July 10th, 1724 was the Swedish scientist who brought potatoes, which were at that time grown mainly in the greenhouses of the aristocracy, to the general Swedish population.

However, she is most remembered for her 1746 discovery that potatoes could be distilled into spirits and flour.

Today’s doodle marking her 293rd birthday, celebrates her “ingenuity and her scientific achievements”.


The doodle comprises a chopping board with ‘Google’ spelt out using a potato, potato skins and flour.

Google says “her discovery helped reduce famine in years to come” as the potato became a staple food in Sweden, increasing the supply of wheat, rye and barley available for making bread.

Her pioneering work led her to become the first woman elected to the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in 1748. The next woman given such recognition was Lise Meitner, an Austrian physicist who worked on radioactivity and nuclear physics, elected 203 years later in 1951.

Along with being a scientist and an agronomist and she also was a Countess having been born into nobility. She married Count Claes Claesson Ekeblad at 16 and the couple had seven children. She died in in 1786 aged 61.

Nora-Ide McAuliffe

Nora-Ide McAuliffe

Nora-Ide McAuliffe is an Audience Editor with The Irish Times