In 1869, Ulysses S. Grant was sworn into the Presidency and the last stake was driven into the transcontinental railroad. That same year, two men a fruit merchant named Joseph Campbell and an icebox manufacturer named Abraham Anderson shook hands in Camden, New Jersey, to form a business that would one day become one of the most recognized in the world and serve as a symbol of Americana: Campbell Soup Company. Originally called the Joseph A. Campbell Preserve Company, the business produced canned tomatoes, vegetables, jellies, soups, condiments, and minced meats. In 1897, a major milestone occurred when Arthur Dorrance, the general manager of the company, reluctantly hired his 24-year-old nephew to join the company. Dr. John T. Dorrance, a chemist who had trained in Europe, was so determined to join Campbell that he agreed to pay for laboratory equipment out of his own pocket and accept a token salary of just $7.50 per week.
Dr. Dorrance quickly made his mark on history with the invention of condensed soup in 1897. By eliminating the water in canned soup, he lowered the costs for packaging, shipping, and storage. This made it possible to offer a 10-ounce can of Campbells condensed soup for a dime, versus more than 30 cents for a typical 32-ounce can of soup. The idea became so hot with Americans that in 1922, the company formally adopted “Soup” as its middle name. © 2006 Campbell’s