By Michelle Fabio
It’s one of America’s greatest treasures, immortalized by Pop Art icon Andy Warhol in the 1960s, and enjoyed by countless children (and adults) alongside grilled cheese sandwiches every day.
We’re talking about tomato soup.
Although an Internet search will come up with hundreds of different recipes and variations from “bisque” to “gazpacho” to “cream of”, the one that many of us could probably pick out of a taste test was the idea of a 24-year-old European chemist–in 1897.
According to the Campbell Soup Company’s website, Dr. John T. Dorrance had been hired “reluctantly” by his uncle Arthur, general manager of the company; Dr. Dorrance even paid for his own laboratory equipment.
But he soon more than earned his token $7.50/week salary when he came up with the idea of canned condensed soup, i.e., taking out the water. This made a 10 oz. can of condensed soup cost a dime whereas a 32 oz. can of traditional soup was 30 cents.
The condensation idea saved costs in shipping, packaging, and storage, and, most importantly, made Campbell’s a household name in soups.
Indeed, Dr. Dorrance quite literally put the “Soup” in the company name–before condensed tomato soup, it had simply been “Campbell Company.”
But the real question–where did he stand on the slurping issue?