Grateful American® Foundation

Who invented condensed milk?

January 31st

440px-Gail_BordenJanuary 31, 1851 — Gail Borden (November 9, 1801 – January 11, 1863) announced today that he invented condensed milk.

The native New Yorker had settled in Texas in 1829, where he worked as a land surveyor, newspaper publisher, and inventor. He co-plotted the cities of Houston and Galveston in 1836 before returning home to market his useful food product.

Borden set up factories for condensed milk in Connecticut, and later in New York and Illinois, as the demand was high for his boxed milk by the Union Army during the Civil War.

In 1849, entrepreneurial Borden began experimenting with the creation of a dehydrated beef product known as the “meat biscuit,” which was loosely based on a traditional Native American food known as Pemmican. The inventor knew pioneers seeking gold in California needed a readily transportable food source that could endure harsh conditions and he marketed the meat biscuit as a suitable solution.

Words of Wisdom

I tried and failed. I tried again and again and succeeded.

— Epitaph from the gravestone of Gail Borden, the creator of Borden's condensed milk

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