The Borden brand is celebrating June Dairy Month, and their 150th anniversary, in style – with a donation to the New York Historical Society. Included was a scrapbook compiled by and including handwritten notes by Borden founder Gail Borden, the “Father of the Modern Dairy Industry” and inventor of condensed milk. The items will remain permanently at the Historical Society.
The real Elsie the Cow, America’s beloved mascot, joined company and museum officials for a presentation ceremony held on the steps of the Historical Society. Accompanying Elsie were her handlers, along with ninety-year-old Jim Cavanaugh, one of the original “Borden Boys” and one of the men credited with selecting the first Elsie at the 1939 New York World’s Fair.
Alexander Hoyt, whose family owns the original John Gail Borden homestead and 100 acres of the famous Borden Home Farm in Wallkill, NY, donated the items to the Historical Society. The scrapbook was only recently discovered, while the tin portrait was found many years ago, just after the Hoyt family purchased the homestead and 100 acres of the famous Borden Home Farm in 1950.
The Borden story began 150 years ago with Gail Borden, who was a publisher, cattleman, surveyor, civil servant, politician and missionary in 19th century Texas before he began inventing new ways to preserve foodstuffs. In 1853, Borden began working on a process to condense milk as a means of preventing spoilage. Four years later, he established his first condensery in Burrville, Connecticut, which became known as the Borden Company.