Friday, June 10, 2005

The Sandwich

Came across this in researching an antitrust issue:
Almost from the moment in 1762 when John Montagu, Fourth Earl of Sandwich, sank his teeth into a piece of salt beef between two slices of toast,1 the world has been immeasurably enriched by the culinary invention that bears his name. Fame and fashion are fleeting. Our leaders are all too human. Even the loftiest ideals give way to disappointing reality. But the sandwich is tried and true: convenient, delicious, and on occasion sublime. Cf. Alice Childress, A Hero Ain't Nothing But a Sandwich (1973).

Montagu's contribution to humankind has not solely been of the epicurean variety. Sandwiches are a big business, as the present case attests. Plaintiffs are New England-area franchisees of D'Angelo Sandwich Shops. * * *

1 According to popular legend, the Earl invented the sandwich while on a gambling bender - so that he could eat a meal without leaving the card table. According to Montagu's biographer, however, the Earl merely wanted to be able to sup at his desk while working late. N.A.M. Rodger, The Insatiable Earl: A Life of John Montagu, Fourth Earl of Sandwich, 1718-1792, at 79 (1994). This factual conflict is not presently before the Court.
That was Judge Rya Zobel, writing in Substantial Invs., Inc. v. D'Angelo Franchising Corp., 2004 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 17300 (D. Mass. 2004).


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