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Gail Borden

Borden, Gail, 1801–74, American dairyman, surveyor, and inventor, b. Norwich, N.Y. He was for several years a deputy surveyor in Mississippi; afterward he joined the colony of Stephen F. Austin in Texas. There, besides farming, stock-raising, and newspaper activities, he superintended the surveying of lands for Austin. He laid out the city of Galveston, where he became collector of customs. After returning (1851) to New York, he worked on a process of evaporating milk, which he patented in 1856. Jeremiah Milbank backed him financially, and the Borden Milk Company (now the Borden Family of Companies, including Borden Foods Corp. and Borden Chemicals Inc.) opened its first evaporating plant in 1858. During the Civil War his product was found to be of great value to the army, and its use spread rapidly afterward. Borden subsequently also patented processes for concentrating fruit juices and other beverages.

See biography by J. B. Frantz (1951).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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