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Dr. John Thompson Dorrance


Inventor of Campbell's Condensed Soup

Born 11/11/1873

Died 9/21/1930

Burial Date 12/22/1931

Dr. John Thompson Dorrance

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Most Americans have tasted one of Campbell's soups. What most people do not know, is the name of the man who invented condensed soup, Dr. John Thompson Dorrance. John Dorrance was born November 11, 1873 in Bristol, Pennsylvania. He received a B.S. from MIT in 1895. He then attended the University of Gottingen in Germany, and earned a Ph.D., continuing to specialize in chemistry. He returned to America in 1897, and went to work for the Joseph Campbell Preserve Company, as a chemist. At that time, the company produced a broad line of food products.

While working there, Dorrance developed a way to reduce the water content in soup, retaining nutrients and flavor, but reducing its weight and shipping cost. The result was that Campbell's soups became extremely popular, and a major output of the company. At his urging, the company embarked on a vast advertising campaign, which helped make America a nation of soup eaters. Three years after starting at the company, he was promoted to vice president (1900), and then went on to serve as general manager (1910), president of the company (1914), and eventually became sole owner.

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