Condensed Milk

May 14th Celebrates Condensed Milk

Today on Days to remember we celebrate how on May 14th 1853, a fellow by the name of Gail Borden applied his patent for condensed milk.

Who was Gail Borden?

Gail Borden III, was born on November 9, 1801 and died on January 11, 1874, he was a native New Yorker who settled in Texas in 1829, where he worked as a land surveyor, newspaper publisher, and inventor; he is most known as the developer of condensed milk in 1853.

So how did he come up with this idea for condensed milk?

During Borden’s return voyage from the Exhibition in London, a disease infected both cows aboard the ship.

The cows eventually died, along with several children who drank the contaminated milk.

Contamination threatened other supplies of milk across the country. In part, the event inspired Borden’s interest in preserving milk.

The following year in 1853, Borden’s fortunes began to change when he met Jeremiah Milbank, a financier from New York, on a train.

Milbank was impressed by Borden’s enthusiasm for and confidence in condensed milk, and the two became 50/50 partners.

Together, they founded the New York Condensed Milk Company. As a railroad magnate and banker, Milbank understood large-scale finance, which was critical to development of the business and Borden’s success
With the founding of the New York Condensed Milk Company, sales of Borden’s condensed milk began to improve.

The outbreak of the Civil War in 1861 soon after created a large demand for condensed milk from the Union Army, as officers purchased several hundred pounds of milk for their soldiers.

In 1861, Borden closed the factory in Burrville, opening the first of what would be many condensed milk factories in upstate New York and Illinois.

How is condensed milk made?

Condensed milk is cow’s milk from which water has been removed. It is most often found in the form of sweetened condensed milk (SCM), with sugar added, and the two terms “condensed milk” and “sweetened condensed milk” are often used synonymously today.

Sweetened condensed milk is a very thick, sweet product which when canned can last for years without refrigeration if unopened. Condensed milk is used in numerous dessert dishes in many countries.

As we celebrate how on May 14th 1853, a fellow by the name of Gail Borden applied his patent for condensed milk.

Written & Designed by JD Mitchell


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