The invention of the sandwich, of putting stuff between two slices of bread, is credited to the fourth Earl of Sandwich John Montagu (1718-1792) though this is one of those things where the claim of being the first has to be taken with a huge grain of salt since the idea of using some kind of bread as a wrapper for other foods dates back much farther. But for whatever reason, justified or not, his name is associated with it.
The first written usage of the English word appeared in Edward Gibbon’s journal, in longhand, referring to “bits of cold meat” as a “Sandwich”. It was named after John Montagu, 4th Earl of Sandwich, an 18th-century English aristocrat. It is said that he ordered his valet to bring him meat tucked between two pieces of bread, and others began to order “the same as Sandwich!” It is commonly said that Lord Sandwich was fond of this form of food because it allowed him to continue playing cards, particularly cribbage, while eating, without using a fork, and without getting his cards greasy from eating meat with his bare hands.
But the sandwich, like everything else, has evolved over time. Via Caroline Siede, I came across this video of young children trying out various sandwiches that were popularized in different decades of the 20th century. I had not realized how many different kinds of names there are for sandwiches.