Friday, March 25, 2022

Borden Dairy Company and Elsie the Cow, Chicago's Favorite.

The History of Gail Borden, Jr.
Gail Borden's story begins in Norwich, New York, where he was born in 1801. 
Gail Borden, Jr. 1801-1874
After a few years, the family moved to Kentucky and then to Indiana. In his early 20s, Gail followed his brothers south, eventually working as a surveyor in Mississippi. By 1835, Borden—now married—had settled in Texas, working first as a surveyor and then as a newspaper editor, which is interesting since his only formal education took place during his two years in Indiana, learning to be a surveyor.

"Telegraph and Texas Planter" Newspaper (1835-1837)
In February 1835, Gail and his brother John Borden entered into a partnership with Joseph Baker to publish one of the first newspapers in Texas. Although none of the three had any previous printing experience, Baker was considered "one of the best-informed men in the Texian colony on the Texas-Mexican situation." The men based their newspaper in San Felipe de Austin, which was centrally located among the colonies in eastern Texas. They ran the first issue under the banner of "Telegraph and Texas Planter" on October 10, 1835, days after the Texas Revolution began, though the later issues bore the name Telegraph and Texas Register. As the editor, Gail Borden worked to be objective.

Soon after the newspaper began publishing, his brother John Borden left to join the Texian Army, and their brother Thomas took his place as Borden's partner. Historian Eugene C. Barker describes the Borden newspaper as "an invaluable repository of public documents during this critical period of the state's history." The early format of the paper was three columns to a page with a total of eight pages. The Telegraph printed official documents and announcements, editorials, local news, reprints of articles from other newspapers, poetry, and advertisements.

As the Mexican Army moved east into the Texian colonies, the Telegraph was soon the only newspaper in Texas still operating. Their 21st issue was published on March 24. This contained the first list of names of Texans who died at the Battle of the Alamo. On March 27, the Texas Army reached San Felipe, carrying word that the Mexican advance guard was approaching. According to a later editorial in the Telegraph, the publishers were "the last to consent to move." The Bordens dismantled the printing press and brought it with them as they evacuated with the rear guard on March 30. The Bordens retreated to Harrisburg. On April 14, as they were in the process of printing a new issue, Mexican soldiers arrived and seized the press. The soldiers threw the type and press into Buffalo Bayou and arrested the Bordens. The Texas Revolution ended days later.

Lacking funds to replace his equipment, Borden mortgaged his land to buy a new printing press in Cincinnati. The 23rd issue of the Telegraph was published in Columbia on August 2, 1836. Although many had expected Columbia to be the new capital, the First Texas Congress instead chose the new city of Houston. Borden relocated to Houston and published the first Houston issue of his paper on May 2, 1837.

The newspaper was in financial difficulty, as the Bordens rarely paid their bills. In March, Thomas Borden sold his interest in the enterprise to Francis W. Moore Jr., who took over as chief editor. Three months later, Gail Borden transferred his shares to Jacob W. Cruger.

Borden was an inventor, although not always successful. In the early 1840s, he experimented with disease cures and mechanics. His wife, Penelope, died of yellow fever on September 5, 1844. Frequent epidemics had swept through the nation, and the disease had a high rate of fatalities during the 19th century. Borden began experimenting with finding a cure to the disease via refrigeration, and no one understood how it was transmitted.

The "Terraqueous Machine"
One of his inventions was the Terraqueous Machine (of land and water). Accounts of his first—and only—journey are not kind.

In the late 1840s, a crowd of curious onlookers and a few hardy volunteers gathered on a Galveston, Texas, beach to meet Gail Borden and witness the unveiling of his new amphibious machine.

The machine was rigged with a mast, a square sail, a rudder, and a steering device for the front wheels. This sail-powered wagon was designed to travel over land and sea but designed more specifically for the western prairies. Borden enlisted some friends to ride with him on the machine's maiden voyage, but whether those people remained friends after the demonstration is unknown. The machine's sail caught the wind and zipped along at a clip fast enough to terrify his fellow passengers. They panicked when Borden steered into the waves, and the Terraqueous Machine tumped over, spilling its inventor and his passengers into the surf. Anxious moments passed until some drenched and unlucky passengers emerged from the waves onto the shore. When asked where Borden was, one of the disillusioned riders said, "I sincerely hope he has drowned." Borden didn't drown. The Terraqueous Machine was his first invention, and though it never caught on, the idea lingered.

Meat Biscuit aka Soup-Bread
In 1849, Borden turned his attention to inventing a stable meat biscuit for travelers and folks in rural America. Specifically, he created a Meat Biscuit or "Portable Desiccated (having had all moisture removed) Soup-Bread," similar to Native American pemmican. The meat biscuits were immensely popular during the California Gold Rush because the 49ers needed compact, lightweight, non-perishable supplies, and Borden's meat biscuits fit the bill. The idea was to preserve the concentrated nutritional properties of flesh meat, combined with flour and baking it into biscuits. One pound of this bread contains the extract of more than five pounds of the best meat, and one ounce of it will make a pint of rich soup. The idea was to preserve the concentrated nutritional properties of flesh meat, combined with flour and baking it into biscuits. One pound of this bread contains the extract of more than five pounds of the best meat, and one ounce of it will make a pint of rich soup. Biscuits were made from beef, veal, fowl flesh, oysters, etc., and were not intended to be eaten. 

In 1851, Borden traveled to the 1851 London World's Fair; The Great Exhibition of the Works of Industry of All Nations, also known as the Great Exhibition or the Crystal Palace Exhibition, was an international exhibition that took place in Hyde Park, London, from May 1st  to October 15, 1851. His biscuits were well-received and won a Gold Medal at the Great Council Exhibit. He also experimented with coffee, tea, and cocoa. Borden was able to make concentrates from apples, currants, and grapes.
Meat Biscuit aka Soup-Bread. The recipe is at the end of this article.
In a letter dated March 23, 1850, to Dr. Ashbel Smith, Borden relates the way he made this discovery and describes how to prepare the Soup-Bread, and how it tastes:
"I was endeavoring to make some portable meat glue (the common kind known) for some friends who were going to California—I had set up a large kettle and evaporating pan, and after two days labor I reduced one hundred and twenty pounds of veal to ten pounds of extract, a consistency like melted glue and molasses; the weather was warm and rainy, it being the middle of July. I could not dry it either in or out of the house and unwilling to lose my labor, it occured to me, after various expedients, to mix the article with good flour and bake it. To my great satisfaction, the bread was found to contain all the primary principles of meat, and with a better flavor than simple veal soup, thickened with flour in the ordinary method.

The nutritive portions of beef or other meat, immediately on its being slaughtered, are, by long boiling, separated from the bones and fibrous and cartilaginous matters: the water holding the nutritious matters in solution, is evaporated to a considerable degree of spissitude—this is then made into a dough with firm wheaten flour, the dough rolled and cut into a form of biscuits, is then desiccated, or baked in an oven at a moderate heat. The cooking, both of the flour and the animal food is thus complete. The meat biscuits were prepared to have the appearance and firmness of the nicest crackers or navy bread, being as dry, and breaking or pulverizing as readily as the most carefully made table crackers. It is preserved in the form of biscuit or reduced to coarse flour or meal. It is best kept in tin cases hermetically soldered up; the exclusion of air is not important, humidity alone is to be guarded against.

For making soup from a meat biscuit, a batter is first made of the pulverized biscuit and cold water—this is stirred into boiling water—the boiling is continued some ten or twenty minutes—salt, pepper, and other condiments are added to suit the taste, and the soup is ready for the table.

I have eaten the soup several times,—it has the fresh, lively, clean, and thoroughly done or cooked flavor that used to form the charm of the soups of the Rocher de Cancale. It is perfectly free from that vapid unctuous stale taste that characterizes all prepared soups I have heretofore tried at sea and elsewhere. Those chemical changes in food which, in common language, we denominate cooking, have been perfectly affected in Mr. Borden’s biscuit by the long-continued boiling at first, and the subsequent baking or roasting. The soup prepared of it is thus ready to be absorbed into the system without loss, and without tedious digestion in the alimentary canal, and is in the highest degree nutritious and invigorating."
The recipe for these biscuits is at the end of the article.

Sailing back from London's World Fair, Borden was horrified seeing several children and two cows die from drinking contaminated milk; the milk wasn't fresh... but had not soured yet. He wondered if there was a way to preserve milk indefinitely and found inspiration from the Shakers with whom he had spent some time, possibly in Kentucky. He recalled that the Shakers had developed a process of evaporating fruit juice by vacuum and making it "shelf-stable," in today's terms. Borden used a similar process and invented condensed milk. In short order, he founded the New York Condensed Milk Company.

NOTE: Al Capone and his Brother Ralph are responsible for milk expiration dating. The Capone's convinced the Chicago City Council to pass a law in 1933 that clearly stamped the date on milk bottles where the consumer could read and understand it.

Borden opened factories across New York State, including Craryville, Copake, and Ancram.
Borden's Country Bottled Milk Station No. 20, Ancram, New York, Plant.


Borden was enshrined in the "Inventors Hall of Fame" in 2008 for inventing condensed milk, U.S. Patent No. 15,553, on August 19, 1856.

By 1858, Eagle Brand Condensed Milk was a trusted brand and selling briskly. The Union Army supplied the troops with Eagle Brand during the Civil War, an enormous windfall for Borden.
Advertisement for Gail Borden's Eagle Brand Condensed Milk from an 1898 guidebook for travelers in the Klondike Gold Rush.



In later years, Borden returned to Texas, where he supported the poorly-paid, minorities, and teachers. He became a well-known philanthropist, and he helped organize a school for negroes. Borden also helped build six new churches. He died in Borden, Texas, in 1874, and was buried in Woodlawn Cemetery in New York.
An amber Signature Quality Borden's
Dairy Farm Milk Bottle with
Gail Borden's signature, (age unknown).
Borden’s was once the largest U.S. producer of dairy and pasta products. He also sold snacks, processed cheese, jams, jellies, and ice cream. Borden’s consumer products division sold wallpaper, adhesives, plastics, and resins. The company sold Elmer’s Glue and Krazy Glue. The Borden Brand eventually became the Eagle Brand and sold such labels as Mott’s and Cremora. Smucker’s acquired Eagle Brands in 2007.

Gail Borden invented a lot of useful products. Throughout his life, he always respected science. He was a very reputable man.

The New York Condensed Milk Company lived on, and in 1899, the company renamed itself Borden Milk Company in his honor.

Elsie the Cow
Elsie, the Cow, was the first Mascot of Borden Dairy Company, appearing in 1936 to symbolize the "perfect dairy product." Since the demise of Borden in the mid-1990s, the character has continued to be used in the same capacity for the company's partial successors, Eagle Family Foods (owned by J.M. Smucker) and Borden Dairy. 
Elsie the Cow in a 1948 ad.
Elsie's real name was "You'll Do Lobelia." At seven years old, she was beautiful, photogenic, good-natured (and a bit of a ham); she was christened Elsie and became a star. Long before there was Adele, Beyoncé, Brandy, Britney, Cher, Elvis, Fergie, Halsey, Kesha, Kylie, Madonna, Pink, Prince, Rihanna, Selena, Shakira, Shakira, Tiffany, and Usher ♫♪there was Elsie. 

The first Elsie was a registered Jersey heifer selected while participating in Borden's 1939 New York World's Fair "Rotolactor" exhibit (a cow 'merry-go-round' that could milk cows much faster and more efficiently). 
The "Rotolactor" was displayed in the Futuristic Farming exhibit at the 1939 New York "World of Tomorrow" World's Fair.


When the other cows were not being milked, Elsie would ride the Rotolactor alone wearing her trademark chain of daisies around her neck and a blanket with her name on her back—waving her tail to the crowd.

Elsie was a smash, and the Borden display was a big success. Elsie gave a "Bovine Ball" for the press at the end of the season, and this proved so popular that other appearances followed.

At the height of her career, Elsie was noted as the most famous icon in America, not an easy feat when you are up against such formidable competitors like The Campbell Soup Kids, the Marlboro Man, and The Jolly Green Giant.

According to Ad Age magazine, Elsie became one of the top 10 advertising symbols of the twentieth century.

Borden’s "None Such Mince Meat" (1940-41)


Sniff the spicy fragrance when it comes out of the oven! Roll the hearty, country-kitchen flavor over your tongue! A-s-h! It's Borden's None Such Mince Meat Pie!

Borden's None Such Mince Meat is made of 20 choice ingredients—hand-picked apples, sun-wrinkled raisins, tart citrus peel, and spices from the far corners of the earth—aged and blended in a New England recipe 56 years old (from 1884). It's spicier, fruitier than "ordinary" mince meat—yet costs but a few cents more!

So demand genuine Borden's None Such Mince Meat. Look for the None Such Girl on the bright Red package!

A new idea book from Borden. “The touch of taste from None Such Mince Meat: a new idea book from Borden"—published 1977.

Borden’s "HEMO" Chocolate Powder (1942-1946)


Here's HEMO—made for every man, woman, and child who needs more vitamins and minerals to get a new kick out of life!

Hemo has a deep, rich, malty flavor. Tastes like the slickest malted milk you ever drank—only better!

But HEMO is more—far more—than just a grand-tasting drink! HEMO is crammed with vitamins and minerals—enough to really do some good! One glass of Hemo daily—yes, just one—gives you one-half the total daily adult requirements of Vitamins A, B1, D, and G, plus iron! And extra needed calcium and phosphorus, too!
Added to a usual diet, that makes up almost any shortage of all these vital food elements! Enough HEMO to make one drink costs only 2½¢!

Start drinking HEMO today. Lean back and enjoy every sip. See if you don't start feeling better, looking better, and tackling each day with more pep! Get HEMO now! 24 delicious drinks at your grocer or druggists for 59¢.


Elsie had a fictional cartoon mate, Elmer the Bull, whose drawing is on the label of every bottle of Elmer's Glue-All. Elmer was created in 1940 and lent to Borden's then chemical division as the mascot for Elmer's Products.
Elmer the Bull, circa 1941.






The pair were given offspring Beulah and Beauregard in 1948 and twins Larabee and Lobelia in 1957.
"Don't women handle money better than men do?"
ASKED ELSIE, THE BORDEN COW.
Elsie has been bestowed honorary university degrees as "Doctor of Bovinity," "Doctor of Human Kindness," and "Doctor of Ecownomics." In Wisconsin, home of the Dairy Princess, Elsie was named "Queen of Dairyland." (The Wisconsin "Queen of Dairyland" provided the dairy industry with hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of free publicity.) The Seneca (Iroquois) Tribe named Elsie (Iroquois: awsғ:iyo jó:sgwa:ön = Beautiful Flowers Cow) an honorary Chief. She holds keys to over 200 cities. 
Elsie, the first flying cow, goes to War.





But best of all, Elsie helped sell more than $10 million in U.S. War Bonds.


Tragically, on April 16, 1941, Elsie was traveling on a highway when her truck was slammed from behind, severely damaging her vertebrae. She was rushed back to Plainsboro, New Jersey, to a veterinarian. Various treatments were considered, including traction, but there was nothing to be done in the end. Elsie was euthanized on April 20 and buried at the Walker-Gordon Dairy behind the carpenter shop. A headstone was later created to mark her resting place. 
Elsie the Cow TV Commercial, Circa 1950.

In 1997 Elsie and the Borden name were sold to the Dairy Farmer's Association of America. Her "i-cow-nic" image is still in use on various cheese products. People still love Elsie. She is definitely the Queen among cows, and that's no bull. 










  Compiled by Dr. Neil Gale, Ph.D




Borden's Homemade Meat Biscuits aka Soup-Bread Recipe
A Borden's meat biscuit from this recipe.
INGREDIENTS
  • Bouillon; Beef, Chicken, Fish, Ham, Lobster, Turkey, Vegetable. (Bouillon Paste)
  • Flour
  • Water
INSTRUCTIONS
  • Mix flour with bouillon. If the bouillon is a paste, mash it with a spoon until it is completely mixed and looks like whole wheat flour. Do not use too much flour; you are not making bread. You are making a stabilizer for the bouillon.
  • Add just enough cold water to make a very, very stiff dough. It should hold together but not be sticky.
  • Roll out quite thinly, and cut into pieces.
  • Bake at 300° F. for 30 minutes, or until completely dry and hard.
PREPARING THE BISCUITS
To make into soup, smash it up in cold water with something heavy, like a meat tenderizer, then boil in more water.

CRITICS COMMENTARY
It was okay! The broth was pretty weak in the end, but more biscuits would have helped that. I thought the flour would have thickened the soup, but instead, it made little crumbly sediment, which was expected. I can see how this would be a useful addition to a wagon headed west. These meat biscuits never became popular, but more than one wagon included a barrel of them amongst their supplies. (Anonymous)

Monday, March 21, 2022

"Chicago Dog Sauce," a new condiment, was introduced by Heinz in 2017

Chicago is an amazing city full of traditions. One of them, as well known, is never putting ketchup on your Chicago Dog unless, of course, you're 10 years old or younger.

Heinz. The Pennsylvania-based condiment company, which merged with Chicago-based Kraft in 2015, tried to convince people to try its new “Chicago Dog Sauce” for National Hot Dog Day, to help ketchup-loving Chicagoans save face. A new condiment that looks like ketchup tastes like ketchup, and, it turns out to be ketchup. It's an insult to Chicagoans.




While Heinz claims to respect this time-honored Chicago tradition, the brand is hoping that Chicagoans will reconsider their anti-ketchup stance. Heinz's new "Chicago Dog Sauce, was a limited-time marketing ploy that disguises the company's regular ketchup with a new label. 

Grilled, instead of raw onions, may be optional, but the famous Fluky's "Depression Sandwich," an all-beef hot dog on a poppy seed bun, top with yellow mustard, chopped white onions, neon green sweet pickle relish, a dill pickle spear, tomato slices or wedges, sport peppers, and a dash of celery salt is a masterpiece. Don't put cheap red lipstick on the Mona Lisa. By the way, Fluky's "Garden on a Bun" was the depression sandwich without the hot dog.

This Heinz TV commercial showed gobsmacked Chicagoans purportedly trying the ketchup Chicago Dog Sauce and, to the great betrayal of their forefathers, liking it.
Heinz Unveils Chicago Dog Sauce
for National Hot Dog Day.

One person tweeted: "Never in a million years will you find such a condiment on my hot dog. Nice try Heinz, but it’s a huge NO for me."

Ketchup is for french fries and for the enjoyment of children in Chicago.

Obviously, the entire thing was intended to be in good fun. Heinz even set up a website where people could order "limited edition 14oz glass bottles of Heinz Chicago Dog Sauce" featuring the Chicago Dog Sauce label designed just for this ad campaign.
       
Compiled by Dr. Neil Gale, Ph.D.

Friday, March 18, 2022

Dinty Moore's Rendezvous Restaurant, Chicago, Formerly Famous in Willow Springs, Illinois.

Dinty Moore, Restaurateur.
On March 7, 1914, brothers William Moore and James Moore Jr. opened an Irish eatery and pub at 216 West 46th Street, New York City. Family members lived above the restaurant. They shortly opened a second location at 161 West 23rd Street, also in Manhatten.
CLICK FOR A LARGE, READABLE SIZE.
It was named by owner James Moore after the saloon where Jiggs hung out in the famous comic strip "Bringing Up Father." The George McManus comic strip was about a stereotypical Irish-American, who became rich by winning the Irish Sweepstakes, and his social-climbing wife started in 1913. The comic strip was so popular that many Irish men named Moore were suddenly called Dinty.

After opening the restaurant, James Moore, who began calling himself Dinty, was notorious in the 1920s for his flagrant disregard of Prohibition (1920-1933), which endeared him with the hard-drinking celebrity crowd. The restaurant was best known for its Irish stew, made from kosher beef and lamb, and the Corned Beef and Cabbage plate (original recipes below).

Early newspaper reports confirm this establishment was frequently violating the Volstead Act (aka Prohibition). References in the 1920s confirm the place was known as "Dinty Moore's," but they are fuzzy about which brother was "Dinty." Subsequent references confirm James was the proud owner of the "Dinty" moniker. 

Newspaper accounts paint Dinty Moore's as a popular hangout catering to celebrities and business moguls. Presumably, its reputation as a speakeasy generated a devoted clientele, and George McManus was a frequent patron. It's unknown when the restaurant was officially named Dinty Moore. 

Dinty Moore's Rendezvous Restaurant, Chicago
Dinty Moore's Rendezvous, 1332 West 69th Street, Chicago, Illinois.
Dinty Moore's Rendezvous, 1332 West 69th Street, Chicago, Illinois.

There were several other "Dinty Moore" restaurants throughout the country, but they were not related. Most of these Dinty Moore restaurants used the original Dinty Moore Corned Beef & Cabbage and Irish Stew recipes (scroll down).
Dinty Moore Restaurant, McMinnville, Tennessee.



Compiled by Dr. Neil Gale, Ph.D.


Original Dinty Moore Corned Beef & Cabbage Recipe
This is the original Dinty Moore Corned Beef & Cabbage recipe from James Moore. Circa 1915, New York City.



NOTE: Only Use Beef Brisket cut. Corned Beef is boiled in pickling spices (a brine) and requires a lot of boiling. As a supper or dinner dish, it's usually served with boiled cabbage and potatoes, and a chuck of Irish Soda Bread. As a sandwich, it usually served on rye bread with its natural condiment, mustard; it needs no other. 

FYI: The difference between corned beef and pastrami is corned beef is boiled while pastrami is peppered and smoked. Up to the late 1980s, most Chicagoland delicatessens boiled their own beef briskets, fifteen briskets at a time. It was very rare to find a deli that smoked their own briskets for pastrami, but some smokehouses did..

BOILED CORNED BEEF
  • Place the beef brisket in cold water, bring to a boil, boil for 3 1/2 hours, and skim the water every 20 minutes. 
  • Add Pickling Spices of your choice per directions per volume. (McCormick was the standard unless the deli was kosher.)
  • Add fresh boiling water if necessary to keep beef covered. 
  • Fifteen minutes before it is finished, add 1 lb. of granulated sugar for every 20 lbs. of beef. 
  • Allow beef to cool in the water it was boiled in for 1½ hour. 
BOILED CABBAGE
  • Place cabbage in cold water with a piece of pork.
  • Boil for 18 to 20 minutes. 
  • Remove pot from the fire and heat up when wanted. (will stay white for 24 hours.) 
Dinty always served boiled potatoes and carrots with a pinch of parsley (traditional) with his corned beef & cabbage.

BOILED POTATOES
  • Wash good-sized Irish potatoes (if you can find them); substitute with Idaho or Red potatoes.
  • Do not remove the skins. 
  • Boil in the brine water until 'hard boiled' — 25-35 minutes (only add a touch of salt).
  • Keep skins intact and dry potatoes in the oven for about 20 minutes. 
  • Serve with a lot of butter.

Original Dinty Moore Irish Stew Recipe
or "Irish Stew a la Dinty Moore." 
George Rector, the famous Rector's restaurant chef in New York City, shared the recipe below. Both friends, Rector and Moore, were renowned restaurateurs and probably shared recipes and clientele.
Irish Stew a la Dinty Moore.

"This is what Jim 'Dinty' Moore did when I first smelled the Irish stew steaming out of his kitchen. It's the same Dinty Moore, who was immortalized by George McManus, whose corned beef and cabbage Jiggs was sure to be eating when he could get away from Maggie. 

INGREDIENTS
  • 1 pound Kosher beef chuck
  • 3 pounds shoulder of lamb
  • 1 pound breast of lamb
  • 4 medium-sized potatoes
  • 6 medium-sized carrots
  • 2 medium-sized green peppers, diced
  • 1/4 cup leeks
  • 1/2 cup diced celery
  • 1 cup canned tomato pulp
  • 1 teaspoon prepared mustard
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon A-1 sauce
  • 1 tablespoon ketchup
  • salt and pepper to taste
GARNISHMENT
  • 1/2 cup cooked green peas
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
BEEF PREPARATION (1 hr)
  • Trim all the fat you can from the meat. 
  • Cut all the meat in pieces two inches square.
  • Start the beef cooking in enough water to cover the meat.
  • Simmer one hour. 
LAMB PREPARATION (1/2 hr)
  • Trim all the fat you can from the meat. 
  • Cut all the meat in pieces two inches square.
  • Simmer the lamb in enough water to cover the meat. 
  • Skim the fat off the top of the boiling water from time to time. 
  • Simmer 30 minutes. 
VEGETABLE PREPARATION
  • Combine: Carrots cut in quarters, Green Peppers, Onions (white or yellow), Leeks, and Celery.
  • Simmer for another 1/2 hour.
  • Add the seasonings with the tomato pulp into the stew.
  • Continue cooking for 10 more minutes. 
Serve with a garnish of green peas and parsley.



[1] Dinty Moore was not the name of the stew's creator, Jay Catherwood Hormel (1892-1954), son of George A. Hormel, founder of the US company that produced it. The 24-ounce tins of stew were initially known by the company name "Hormel Beef Stew" in 1936. 


However, Hormel entered into an agreement with C.F. Witt & Sons, a large grocery and meat firm in Minneapolis, to sell and distribute its meat products under the Dinty Moore trademark, which C.F. Witt already owned. Witt, in turn, was granted the right to sell other food products that were not canned goods under the Dinty Moore name. But Hormel's use of the name was soon challenged. 
It turned out that Dinty Moore was the name of a character in that gag strip Bringing Up Father, an epic comedy of husband-and-wife strife first appearing in 1913. Hormel appeared to be infringing upon the rights of the cartoons strip's creator, Geroge McManus (1884-1954). It was decided that there was no direct competition between Dinty Moore the stew and Dinty Moore, the cartoon character. Hormel did not violate McMannus' rights or those of his publishers, King Features. 

MacManus later revealed that he got the name of the corner saloon owner Dinty Moore from that of a bellhop in a St. Louis hotel.

Wednesday, March 16, 2022

Research Raises Civil War Death Toll.

For 145 years, the numbers stood as gospel: 618,222 men died in the Civil War, 360,222 from the North, and 258,000 from the South — by far the most significant toll of any war in American history.
Lithograph of the Battle of Gettysburg.


But new research shows that the numbers were far too low.

By combing newly digitized census data from the 19th century, J. David Hacker, a demographic historian from Binghamton University in New York, has recalculated the death toll and increased it by more than 20% — to 750,000.

The new figure is already winning acceptance from scholars. Civil War History, the journal that published Dr. Hacker’s paper, called it “among the most consequential pieces ever to appear” in its pages. And a pre-eminent authority on the era, Eric Foner, a historian at Columbia University, said:
“It even further elevates the significance of the Civil War and makes a dramatic statement about how the war is a central moment in American history. It helps you understand, particularly in the South with a much smaller population, what a devastating experience this was.”
The old figure dates back a century and a half, the work of two Union Army veterans who were passionate amateur historians: William F. Fox and Thomas Leonard Livermore.

Fox, who had fought at Antietam, Chancellorsville, and Gettysburg, knew well the horrors of the Civil War. He did his research the hard way, reading every muster list, battlefield report, and pension record he could find.

In his 1889 treatise “Regimental Losses in the American Civil War, 1861-1865,” Fox presented an immense mass of information. Besides the aggregate death count, researchers would learn that the Fifth New Hampshire lost more soldiers (295 killed) than any other Union regiment; that Gettysburg and Waterloo were almost equivalent battles, with each of the four combatant armies suffering about 23,000 casualties, and that the Union Army had 166 regiments of black troops; and that the average Union soldier was 5 feet 8¼ inches tall and weighed 143½ pounds.

However, Fox’s estimate of Confederate battlefield deaths was much rougher: a “round number” of 94,000, a figure compiled from after-action reports. In 1900, Livermore set out to make a more complete count. In his book, “Numbers and Losses in the Civil War in America, 1861-65,” he reasoned that if the Confederates had lost proportionally the same number of soldiers to disease as the Union had, the actual number of Confederate dead should rise to 258,000.

And that was that. The Fox-Livermore numbers continued to be cited well into the 21st century, even though few historians were satisfied with them. Among many others, James M. McPherson used them without citing the source in “Battle Cry of Freedom,” his Pulitzer-winning 1988 history of the war.

Enter Dr. Hacker, a specialist in 19th-century demographics, who was accustomed to using the two-census method to calculate mortality. That method compares the number of 20-to-30-year-olds in one census with the number of 30-to-40-year-olds in the next census, 10 years later. The difference between the two figures is the number of people who died in that age group.

Pretty simple — but, Dr. Hacker soon realized, too simple for counting Civil War dead. Published census data from the era did not differentiate between native-born Americans and immigrants; about 500,000 foreign-born soldiers served in the Union Army alone.

“If you have a lot of immigrants age 20 moving in during one decade, it looks like negative mortality 10 years later,” Dr. Hacker said. While the Census Bureau in 1860 asked people their birthplace, the information never made it into the printed report.

As for Livermore’s assumption that deaths from disease could be correlated with battlefield deaths, Dr. Hacker found that wanting too. The Union had better medical care, food, and shelter, especially in the war’s final years, suggesting that Southern losses to disease were probably much higher. Also, research has shown that soldiers from rural areas were more susceptible to disease and died at a higher rate than city dwellers. The Confederate Army had a higher percentage of farm boys.

Dr. Hacker said he realized in 2010 that a rigorous recalculation could finally be made if he used newly available detailed census data presented on the Internet by the Minnesota Population Center at the University of Minnesota.

The center’s Integrated Public Use Microdata Series had put representative samples of in-depth, sortable information for individuals counted in 19th-century censuses. This meant that by sorting by place of birth, Dr. Hacker could count only the native-born.

Another hurdle was what Dr. Hacker called the “dreadful” 1870 census, a poorly handled undercount taken when the ashes of the war were still warm. But he reasoned a way around that problem.

Because the census takers would quite likely have missed as many women as men, he decided to look at the ratio of male to female deaths in 1870. Next, he examined mortality figures from the decades on either side of the war — the 1850s and 1870s — so that he could get an idea of the “normal” ratio of male to female deaths for a given decade. When he compared those ratios to that of 1860-70, he reasoned, he would see a dramatic spike in male mortality. And he did. Subtracting normal attrition from the male side of the equation left him with a rough estimate of war dead.

It was a better estimate than Fox and Livermore had produced, but Dr. Hacker made it clear that his was not the final answer. He had made several assumptions, each of which stole accuracy from the final result. Among them: that there were no war-related deaths of white women; that the expected regular mortality rate in the 1860s would be the average of the rates in the 1850s and 1870s; that foreign soldiers died at the same rate as native-born soldiers; and that the War Department figure of 36,000 black war dead had to be accepted as accurate because black women suffered so terribly both during and after the war that they could not be used as a control for male mortality.

The study had two significant shortcomings. Dr. Hacker could make no estimate of civilian deaths, an enduring question among historians, “because the overall number is too small relative to the overall number of soldiers killed.” And he could not tell how many of the battlefield dead belonged to each side.

“You could assume that everyone born in the Deep South fought for the Confederacy and everyone born in the North fought for the Union,” he said. “But the border states were a nightmare, and my confidence in the results broke down quickly.”

With all the uncertainties, Dr. Hacker said, the data suggested that 650,000 to 850,000 men died due to the war; he chose the midpoint as his estimate.

He emphasized that his methodology was far from perfect. “Part of me thinks it is just a curiosity,” he said of the new estimate.

“But wars have profound economic, demographic, and social costs,” he went on. “We see at least 37,000 more widows here and 90,000 more orphans. That’s a profound social impact, and it’s our duty, as historians, to get it right.”

Compiled by Dr. Neil Gale. Ph.D.
Contributor, Guy Gugliotta 

Sunday, March 13, 2022

HI-FI Tavern Bombing on March 26, 1961.

On Friday night, March 26, 1961, surgeons removed the right arm and both legs of Charlene Frazer, 23, and both legs of Martha Jackson, 26, from a bomb explosion in the basement of a popular Chicago tavern.
Interior view shows blast damage to the floor and ceiling of a near northside. Note the Jukebox in the background.




The Jukebox was blaring something called "Nutville," and a score (20) or more merrymakers were dancing in the HI-FI Tavern at 943 North Wells Street, at Walton Street, Chicago, when the explosion happened. Dozens more were in booths or on bar stools sipping drinks.

NUTVILLE — with Billy Cobham - Horace Silver
Bill Hardman - Bennie Maupin - John Williams

Mary Petty, 24, whose father, George, 54, owns the place, said she was behind the bar when "suddenly, there was a terrible noise, and the lights and music went out." People were hurled into the walls, and the bomb in the basement blasted a 15-foot diameter hole in the tavern's floor upstairs. The first floor is a 30 by 50-foot tavern floor upstairs. People were rescued from the basement.

Miss Leona Thames, who lives at 947 North Wells Street, said she was thrown from her chair as she watched television. She said clouds of smoke were pouring from the tavern when she looked out. The second deputy fire marshal John Scanian said no fire followed the blast.

Ambulances and Squadrols[1] began removing the injured to nearby hospitals. The fire department sounded an extra alarm, and police blocked off the area from spectators and cleared traffic for emergency vehicles.

One of the victims, Cyrus Leatherman, 34, of 923 North Sedgwick Street, was questioned by police in Wesley Memorial Hospital, said:

"I was dancing when the whole floor just came right up. I went clear to the ceiling and I thought I was going to remain hanging there. It was the craziest rock 'n' roll I ever danced."
First floor looking at the 15-foot diameter hole in the floor and the damage to the ceiling. 


Edward Neville, the detonation expert of the police bomb squad, said the explosion apparently occured in the basement of the three-story brick building. Neville said it positively was a bomb. 

Captan Robert Thomsen said an outside basement door had been forced open before the blast, and it had been wired shut, but the wire was cut with a sharp instrument.

The first 12 people removed were taken to Henrotin hospital. The following 22 were sent to Wesley  Memorial hospital, five were taken to Passavant hospital, and one was sent to Grant hospital.

There were only three uninjured people in the tavern: the owner's daughter, Miss Mary Petty, and the two bartenders, Sylvester Green and Clarence Bell. They were shielded from the effects of the blast by the bar, which remained intact.

The concussion threw people in the apartments above the tavern from beds and chairs, but none were injured. No one on the street was hurt by the blast.


Fire Department officials concluded that the blast was definitely caused by a dynamite time bomb.

Compiled by Dr. Neil Gale, Ph.D.



[1] Squadrols are vehicles used by police as both squad cars and ambulances. The Chicago Police called them "Paddy Wagons."

Tuesday, March 8, 2022

Illinois' Driftless Region Explained.

The driftless region or zone consists of the extreme northwestern corner of Illinois, southwestern Wisconsin, southeastern Minnesota, and northeastern Iowa. Illinois' driftless region borders are not well defined. Generally, they contain all of Jo Daviess and Stephenson Counties and the western portions of Carroll County near the Mississippi River.
The Upper Mississippi Region, about 15,000 square miles, was miraculously left untouched by glacial erosion and sediments during the last ice age.


Galena, Illinois, is a perfect example of a driftless region. "Driftless" refers to the geological history of the area; its ground hasn't been eroded by glaciers in the Pleistocene (last) Ice Age, nor does it have rocks or sediments (termed drift) transported by the moving glaciers. 


The driftless region is characterized by steep hills, forested ridges, deeply carved river valleys, Karst[1] geology with spring-fed waterfalls, and cold-water trout streams.
The Illinois Counties in the Driftless region.






As in Wisconsin, the Illinois portion of the driftless area became a significant center for Lead and Zinc Mining in the 1800s. The city of Galena was named after the lead sulfide mineral Galena.

In Soldiers Grove, Wisconsin, the Driftless Brewing Company took advantage of the fresh, naturally filtered water. The great-tasting spring water is crucial to brewing their beer brands that they chose to pay homage to the driftless area they occupy.

Compiled by Dr. Neil Gale, Ph.D.



[1] Karst
is an area of land made up of limestone. 

Limestone, also known as chalk or calcium carbonate, is a soft rock that dissolves in water. As rainwater seeps into the rock, it slowly erodes. 
Driftless area in southwest Wisconsin.


Karst landscapes can be worn away from the top or dissolved from a weak point inside the rock. Karst vistas feature caves, underground streams, and sinkholes on the surface. Where erosion has worn away the land above ground, steep rocky cliffs are visible.

                   ██  Karst Landscapes in Illinois.