Perhaps the oldest reference to the need to be careful when disposing of egg shells comes from Roman writer Pliny. Writing in the 1st century CE, he remarks: ‘Thus, as soon as any one has sucked the juice of eggs, they are immediately broken.’
My own first encounter with this story was at work. I was a carer for a young girl and we were in Waterstones browsing the Horrible Histories books, when this story jumped out at me from one of the pages . Ever since I have been collecting writing, poetry and drawings following on form Plinys early remark, all of which have inspired generations of egg shell smashers.
These image provoking texts all encourage people to crush their shells after eating the eggs otherwise witches will snatch them up to use as boats, and cause great harm to sailors and havoc at sea. With such a long pedigree, the thinking around eggshells appears to have stood the test of time, which I continued to the modern day by making children design their own egg boats.