John T. Dorrance

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John Thompson Dorrance (1873 – 1930) was an American chemist. While working at the Campbell Soup Company he discovered a method to create condensed soup. Dorrance served as president of the Campbell Soup Company from 1914 to 1930.

Early career[change | change source]

Dorrance was born in Bristol, Pennsylvania November 11, 1873.[1] His parents were John and Eleanor (Thompson) Dorrance.[1] He earned a Bachelor of Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He received a PhD degree from the University of Göttingen in Germany in 1897. Dorrance then returned to the United States to work for his uncle at the Joseph Cambell Preserve Company.[2] His uncle started him at $7.50 per week. Dr. Dorrance also had to provide his own equipment and supplies for his laboratory.[2] While studdying in Europe, Dorrance became used to having soup with his meals.[3] He wanted to perfect a method of canning soup and adding it their product line. In 1897 he invented condensed soup.[2] By removing the water it reduced the weight of the can. A lighter can cost less to transport to stores. The company was able to sell their condensed soup for 10 cents a can.[2] The product was a success for the company. His uncle raised his pay to $9.00 a week. Dorrance also designed the now classic red and white label for Campbells Soup.

Rise to prominence[change | change source]

In 1900 Dorrance became vice president of the Joseph Cambell Preserve Company.[4] At the Exposition Universelle in Paris that year, Campbell's soups won a gold medal.[4] The medal is still shown on the soup cans today. Dorrance found that workers had time on their hands watching the soup cook in the factory. To occupy their time Dorrance created a new product: canned pork and beans.[4] In 1914 Dorrance became president of the company, now called the Campbell Soup Company.[5] He died of a heart disease on September 22, 1930 in Camden, New Jersey.[6]

References[change | change source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 Scannell's New Jersey's First Citizens, Volume 2 1919 – 1020, eds. John James Scannell; William Edgar Sackett (Patterson, NJ: J.J. Scannell, 1917), p. 122–123
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Jim Cox, Sold on Radio: Advertisers in the Golden Age of Broadcasting (Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Co., 2008), p. 107
  3. The Oxford Encyclopedia of Economic History, Vol. 1, ed. Joel Mokyr (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003), p. 313
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Jim Cox, Sold on Radio: Advertisers in the Golden Age of Broadcasting (Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Co., 2008), pp. 108–109
  5. Martha Esposito Shea; Mike Mathis, Campbell Soup Company (Charleston, SC: Arcadia, 2002), p. 72
  6. "Dr. Dorrance Dead". The New York Times. September 22, 1930. Retrieved 10 November 2014.

Other websites[change | change source]