Carl Feagans is a professional archaeologist that earned a master’s degree in anthropology with a focus on archaeology at the University of Texas at Arlington. Among his academic interests are the religious and cult beliefs of prehistoric peoples, particularly in the Near East around the Pre-Pottery Neolithic. His current interests historic archaeology, particularly related to clandestine distilleries (moonshine stills!). He currently works for the United States Forest Service and records 19th and 20th century home sites that have a rural, agrarian focus.
I also have a fascination with fringe, fantastic, and fraudulent archaeology and what it is that drives people to believe in this and other pseudoscientific notions. In this modern age of “alternative facts” and a deliberate blurring of science by those that would seek to profit or gain from the obfuscation, I find it necessary to write about these topics with an intent on clarifying and exposing them for the poor science that they are.
I’ve been blogging off an on for 10 years, with Hot Cup of Joe being my most prolific attempt. My original blog is/was at http://hotcupofjoe.blogspot.com/ and I moved it after some bad experience with the Blogger auto-spam software which removed/deleted one of my blogs thinking it was link-spam when every bit of the content was original and every link to a legitimate blog or site. It later showed back up, but by then I moved to WordPress. In 2017, I re-branded this blog to Archaeology Review and, while I have that domain (www.archaeologyreview.com), I still have everything sitting on the original ahotcupofjoe.net domain. I also own ahotcupofjoe.com. I originally planned to migrate everything to the archaeologyreview.com address, but for now it ain’t broke, so i’m not fixing it.
What is A Hot Cup of Joe?
In a word: coffee. “Hot cup of joe” is an old nickname for a cup of coffee that still persists today. It can be traced historically back to the 1930s but the actual origin of the nickname is a bit of a mystery. It’s one of those cultural memes that began and gained its own popularity without any surviving documentation that I’ve found to date (though I occasionally browse 1930s and 1940s literature with this in mind).
There are several possible explanations and the one with the most traction that I’ve found is that “Joe” refers to the every-day man and was used as a generalization (such as with “your average Joe” and “GI Joe”). Thus “hot cup of Joe” refers to the drink of the every day man. The sort of comforting beverage available to your average Joe. A plain cup of coffee has always remained inexpensive and satisfying and, in the 1930s (the time of the Great Depression), it would have been an important indulgence for the average Joe who could afford little else on the menu.
As a 12-year veteran of the United States Army, I was first introduced to a good cuppa joe working mid-shifts as a Military Policeman stationed at Fort Carson, Colorado. While in Honduras on a 4-month security mission, we ran out of sugar. I’ve taken my coffee black ever since.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed on this blog in no way represent the universities or employers to which I’m affiliated. They are my own opinions and views and I alone am responsible for them.
–Carl T. Feagans
For questions, concerns, corrections or happy praise, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.