Photograph: Lauren Bamford, Styling: Stephanie Stamatis. The proverb “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade” is understood to have been coined by the American writer Elbert Hubbard in 1915. In his obituary of Marshall Pinckney Wilder, one of the most successful vaudeville performers and a favorite of the British royal family, Hubbard wrote that the actor achieved greatness despite the challenges of being born with dwarfism: “He picked up the lemons that fate had sent him and started a lemonade stand.” The phrase would come to be refined and popularized over subsequent decades, embodying a particularly American belief in self-made success. Yet the history of making lemonade goes back a lot further than enterprising American children and their 5¢ stands. Medieval Egyptians drank qatarmizat—lemon juice sweetened with sugar—in the 11th century, and by the 17th century, lemonade had become so popular in Europe that a guild, the Compagnie de Limonadiers, was formed in Paris, monopolizing its production. This story is from Kinfolk Issue Forty-Four Buy Now Related Stories Arts & Culture Issue 29 In Praise of Cliché Don’t cry over spilled milk. Every aphorism has a silver lining. Arts & Culture City Guide The Standard, High Line Setting a high standard in the Lower West Side. Arts & Culture Food Issue 46 At Work With: Deb Perelman The little blog that could: An interview with Smitten Kitchen’s unflappable founder. Arts & Culture Issue 46 Word: Wintering When to withdraw from the world. Arts & Culture Issue 46 Brock Colyar An interview with a professional partygoer. Arts & Culture Issue 46 Studio Visit: Yoko Kubrick In the studio with a sculptor of monuments and mythologies.