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Scanwiches is a single topic blog that curates digitally scanned, cross-section images of various sandwiches. Similar to other food-themed single topic blogs, scanwich images may be classified under the emerging category of “food porn” on the web.
The single topic Tumblr Scanwiches was launched by New York-based blogger and graphic designer Jon Chonko on February 19th, 2009. Each scanwich post typically consists of the sandwich name, a list of ingredients and a link to the restaurant, when available.
Since its launch in spring of 2009, the blog has published hundreds of scanned images including readers’ submissions and Chonko’s own. According to a video interview with Chonko in November 2011, he began scanning sandwiches while at work:
The majority of scanned sandwich images were submitted and published during the spring of 2009, following the coverage of the blog in March 2009. The site has been highlighted by a variety of tech news, food and culture blogs, including Gizmodo, Grub Street, Chicago Tribunes among others.
Following the media coverage in March 2009, a minor dispute arose between Jon Chonko and Justin Bilicki, another New York-based blogger who has been posting raw scans of his sandwiches onto the website Scanwich.com since 2007. Upon discovering the popularity of Scanwiches.com, Bilicki updated his website with the subhead “the original scanwich” and a blog post directed at Chonko:
Over the past week or so my inbox has been flooded with mail saying “loved your site! You’re getting press!!” Blah, blah, blah. The scanned sandwich is gaining steam these days as the new site www.scanwiches.com (just like this site but with a slight creative tweak. An S). I have to ask, is this an original idea?
To which Chonko responded via his blog:
I didn’t know your site existed until a few weeks after I started scanwiches.com. When I found it I thought about contacting you but it looked like you had abandoned the blog and I couldn’t find an email. It may seem on your end like I copied the idea but it was actually a case of coincidence. The word “scanwich” is such an easy pun that its all over the internet in other forms. If you don’t believe that then I can’t help you. I’m not really much of a person for internet feuds so I’ll leave it at that. I think there’s enough room here for both of us to scan our lunch. I’m not a fraud or a rip-off. I’m just a guy who scans sandwiches. It seems like we have something in common.
In November 2011, the blog reached the milestone of publication as a book titled “Scanwiches,” which features a selection of 125 scanned sandwiches with brief description for each page.
The success of Scanwiches blog paved the road for the launch of numerous other blogs in the following year, most notably TheCatScan (scanned images of cats), Scandybars (scanned images of chocolate candy bars) and HairScan (scanned images of hair) among others.