Tuesday, December 23, 2008

John Dorrance

American soup consumption has grown significantly in the last century, thanks in no small part to the development of condensed soup in 1899. John Dorrance (1873 - 1930) was a chemist working for Joseph Campbell & Co., a canning company, when he figured a way to make canned soup easier to ship and preserve. With a soup's substantial ingredient, water, mostly removed from the stock, it was cheaper to truck to stores across the country. Condensed soup improved upon evaporated soups and bouillon cubes, which were available at the time but deemed inferior to standard soups.

With a marketable product and what has become an enduring marketing program, the company grew to dominate the soup market. Dorrance eventually became president before buying the company and changing the name to Campbell Soup Company. Looking back, condensed soup seems a simple invention. Yet the Campbell's soup can changed the American dinner table.

This post isn't Christmas-related, but here's a Campbell's commercial that is. In case you haven't seen it this year: the Campbell's snowman.

Campbell's Soup
Condensed Soup
More on Condensed Soup
John Dorrance
Dorrance Wikipedia Entry

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