Jake's American Grille is the namesake of the owner's Grandfather, Edwin "Jake" Jablonski.
Edwin "Jake" Jablonski, P.E., was a research and test engineer with the Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, D.C., where he specialized in research and development of five fighting systems and agents for nearly four decades. His most notable achievement was the development of Aqueous Film Forming Foam (AFFF) and is the co-patentee of that material.
Jake received his B.Ch.E degree from The Catholic University in 1944. While attending Catholic, he met Kay. They married in 1944 and in 1945 the Navy moved them out to California, where their first of eight children, David, was born. While in California, Jake and Kay loved to drive the Coastal Highway and travel to the Pebble Beach Golf Club and hike in the Redwood Forest. The family returned to the D.C. area in 1947 and settled in Annapolis, MD, where their family grew.
Jake implemented the use of his patented AFFF in several ways. He is responsible for the introduction of AFFF to existing chemical warfare water spray wash down systems on aircraft carrier flight decks, the primary method of controlling and extinguishing flight deck fires, until it was discontinued in 2000. He participated in the development of PKP/AFFF twinned agent approach to fire fighting and developed AFFF foam that was compatible with sea (salt) water.
Jake wrote over 110 technical papers for the Navy and reported to Admiral Rickover, twice a year, on his progress. He was charged with instructing a team of men on each U.S. Aircraft carrier on how to extinguish deck fires within 45 seconds. The time limit was critical as two planes would land on deck within 60 seconds of one another leaving a 15 second buffer before the second plane could, potentially, catch fire from the first, leaving two $1.5 million dollar planes destroyed.
After an accomplished career in the U.S. Navy, he retired as a Chief Petty Officer in 1981. He was active in the American Institute of Chemical Engineers and was a member of the Joint Board of Science Education and the D.C. Council of Engineering and Architectural Societies. He was also a registered professional engineer in the District of Columbia. Jake was also associated with Hughes Associates, a global company employing leading fire protection consultants and engineers, from 1981 until his death in 1986.
Jake's wife, Kay, received the posthumous Director's Award in 1990, which honored him for his unselfish, extraordinary and outstanding work in fire protection. Until 2000, AFFF was used in airports around the world.