How a Compulsively Gambling English Noble Was Responsible for Inventing the Modern Day Sandwich

In the fifth episode of the TED Ed micro-series “Moments of Vision“, filmmaker Jessica Oreck uses animation to explain how the modern day sandwich was eponymously invented by John Montagu, the 4th Earl of Sandwich. Although it is true that Montagu was a member of British nobility, he was far less than noble in his deeds and actions.

It’s 1762. John Montagu is the 4th Earl of Sandwich, a small parish in the southwest of England. Despite his keen administrative skills, Montagu is a corrupt politician,
an adulterous husband, and an incessant, degenerate gambler. Often, while Montagu is in the midst of a particularly high-stakes game, he will insist on being served his meals at the table. In a moment of vision, though likely inspired by his travels, the Earl orders his meat and cheese be brought to him stacked between two slices of bread so that he may eat with one hand while continuing to gamble with the other.