People did eat penguins in the 1800s, as a means of survival in arctic climates. People still eat penguins in some countries, but hunting them is illegal in many regions.
People used to harvest penguins for their meat, oils and skin, before governing bodies started to regulate the activity. Penguins secrete an oily substance with water shedding properties from their tail glands. Thousands of penguins were harvested from the Falkland Islands in the late 1800s and rendered for oil. People consumed penguin eggs as well, and nearly 13 million eggs were gathered from penguin colonies in the 1900s. People still consume penguin today, but the practice is isolated and continues to fade from popularity.