March 2, 1799
WHITING, CHARLES; EXTRACTING OIL FROM COTTON SEEDS; 2 MAR 1799
In 1799 a patent was granted to Charles Whiting, of Massachusetts, for extracting oil from cottonseed.
The annual dollar value of American cottonseed and cottonseed products runs into a few hundred millions, andthe seed from a bale of cotton approximates in monetaryreturn a bale of lint cotton in earlier days. This development is due primarily to the extraction, or expression, of the oil from cottonseed; by 1890 this industry was important enough to be given a distinct place in the federal census and to have occasioned the formation of an important trust. The development after the Civil War has led one writer to observe that cottonseed was garbage in 1860, fertilizer in 1870, cattle feed in 1880, “tablefood and many things else” in 1890.′ Indeed, many an antebellum cotton gin was set up on the bank of a stream so that the seed would be washed away. This practice called forth legislation, the Revised Code of Mississippi of 1857, for instance, providing a fine of $200 for dumping cottonseed in any stream usedfor drinking or fishing purposes. The same law contained a provision to prevent ginners from allowing seed to accumulate within half a mile of a city or village, as destruction or removal was necessary for reasons of health.
Yet there were a few cottonseed oil mills in existence in 1860, and the industry had its beginnings long before this date, withexperimentation, inventions, business ventures, and prophecies. Twenty-three years prior to the invention of the cotton gin a group of Moravians of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, sent specimensof oils from cottonseed and from sunflower seed to the American Philosophical Society at Philadelphia. They had hulled the cottonseed and produced the oil in much the same way as linseed oil was made, getting six pints of oil from a bushel of seed.3 Cottonseed oil was said at this time to be used medicinally in the West Indies. In 1783 the London Society of Arts offered a gold medal for oil and cake made from cottonseed by a British West India planter, noting the value of the cake for cattle feed. This offer was not met, perhaps because it was conditioned on ton productions. The South Carolina Agricultural Society soon afterward offered a medal for oil from cottonseed and other oleaginous seed, and in 1799 a patent was granted to Charles Whiting, of Massachusetts, for extracting oil from cottonseed.4
January 3, 1805
The Great Fur Land - Life in a Company's Fort
The diets of the people in the Forts in the Rocky Mountains and the Arctic are shown to be mostly fish and red meat, but imported goods such as flour, sugar, vegetables, and fruits are considered rare luxuries. "In many of the extreme Arctic stations the supply of provisions is limited the year round to reindeer-meat, and fish, and not infrequently to the latter alone." However, "the climate favors the consumption of solid food, and, after short residence, the appetite becomes seasoned to the quality of the fare obtainable."
The mess-table has, too, other attractions than those of sociality, and of a more solidly substantial kind. The officers of the forts are all good livers, and, although accustomed to rough it on short allowances of food when necessity requires, take particular care that the home-larder shall be well stocked with all the delicacies and substantials afforded by the surrounding country. The viands are of necessity composed, in the greater part, of the wild game and fish with which the prairies and waters abound. But they are of the choicest kind, and selected from an abundant supply. One gets there the buffalo-hump-tender and juicy; the moose-nose--tremulous and opaque as a vegetable conserve; the finest and most savory waterfowl, and the freshest of fish-all preserved by the power of frost instead of salt. True, the supply of vegetables at many mess-tables is woefully deficient, and a continuous diet of wild meats, like most other things of eternal sameness, is apt to pall upon the appetite. But the list of meats is so extensive, and each requiring a particular mode of cooking that a long time may elapse without a repetition of dishes. Then, too, the climate favors the consumption of solid food, and, after short residence, the appetite becomes seasoned to the quality of the fare obtainable. Bread, as an imported article, is in many instances regarded as quite in the character of a luxury; the few sacks of flour which constitute the annual allowance of each officer being hoarded away by the prudent housewife as carefully as the jams and preserves of her more fortunate sisters. In such cases it is batted into small cakes, one of which is placed beside each plate at meal-time; the size of the cake being so regulated as to afford a single one for each meal of the year. The more common vegetables, such as potatoes and turnips, can be successfully cultivated in some places, and, wherever this occurs, enter largely into the daily menu. Fruits, either fresh or dried, seldom make their appearance upon the table; lack of transportation, also, forbidding the importation of the canned article.
At many of the remote inland posts, however, the daily bill of fare is limited enough, and a winter season seldom passes without the garrison of some isolated station suffering extreme privation. At Jasper and Henry Houses, for example, the officers have been frequently forced to slaughter their horses in order to supplement the meagre supply of provisions. These posts are situated in the very heart of the Rocky Mountains, with the vast region marked "swampy" on the maps separating them from the depot forts. In many of the extreme Arctic stations the supply of provisions is limited the year round to reindeer-meat, and fish, and not infrequently to the latter alone. Under these circumstances, no wonder that the company's officer comes to regard the possession of flour and sugar as among the most essential requisites of life.
May 15, 1824
The Rise of the American Cottonseed Oil Industry
The cottonseed industry grew slowly as machinery for the two essential processes of hulling or crushing the seed and pressing it was devised, operated, and sold in the late eighteen twenties and early thirties
Attempts to produce cottonseed oil were made in South Carolina about 18I5, some of them failing for lack of hulling the seed, though tests in lamps “in comparison with spermaceti oil” showed that the cottonseed oil “was decidedly the best.“′
Additional efforts and experiments were made in the Carolinas and Virginia in the twenties. Niles’ Register, May 15, 1824, cited the Raleigh Register on the subject of an “Interesting Discovery” by Professor Olmsted, of the University of North Carolina. He had “ascertained that a fine illuminating gas may be obtained from cottonseed,” in the proportion of twice as much from a bushel as from New Castle coal. This use of cottonseed had been suggested by a Baltimore man, who had experimented with extracting oil from cottonseed and written an article on the subject. Southern cottonseed might illuminate nearly every city in the United States!
Machinery for the two essential processes of hulling or crushing the seed and pressing it was devised, operated, and sold in the late twenties and early thirties by Francis Follett and Jabez Smith, of Petersburg, Virginia, who attracted attention in the Carolinas and Georgia. These men wrote in 1833 that they had erected three cottonseed oil mills on their own account, while several mills of their manufacture had been set up by others, and that business based on their machines was “progressing rapidly in the cotton growing states in the west.” They claimed for their largest hulling machine a capacity of sixty bushels of hulled kernels in ten hours.6 Two horses furnished the power; an air current from a fan separated the hulls and kernels after the seed was crushed between two revolving stones. Follett and Smith’s pressing arrangement included haircloth envelopes in mortars, with pestles for forcing the oil out of the crushed seed as in the making of linseed oil.7
Superiority was claimed for a machine of a different type in operation at Athens, Georgia. This machine used a block-and-spike system for hulling the seed, and the press that accompanied it sold for $750.8 It was mentioned in 1829 that oil was being extracted from cottonseed at New York for 15 cents a gallon, or for 5 cents a gallon if the cake was retained at the mill, with a slight additional charge for refining the oil, and that Gideon Palmer was operating a machine at New London, Connecticut.9
Image from: https://ia903404.us.archive.org/10/items/nilesnationalreg45nile/nilesnationalreg45nile.pdf
January 2, 1834
The Rise of the American Cottonseed Oil Industry
The first important undertaking to crush cottonseed in the United States was at Natchez, Mississippi, in 1834
However, the interest in cottonseed oil so far was more journalistic than commercial, for it has been rather generally assumed that the first important undertaking to crush cottonseed in the United States was at Natchez, Mississippi, in 1834,” and one might well expect that it would be in the Mississippi Valley that successful establishment would be accomplished of a business that was dependent on the combination of abundant cotton crops and economical transportation. Among those interested directly or indirectly in the Natchez project were J. H. Cooper and Samuel Plummer, of Georgia, Major Anderson Miller, of Louisville, a Virginian bearing the name of Follett, and Archibald Dunbar, of Mississippi. Mills were started at Mobile, Alabama, and Florence, Georgia, about the same time, and late in 1835 the Louisiana legislature incorporated a “Cotton Seed Oil Factory and Insurance Company” to be operated at New Orleans. To encourage the new activity a resolution of the New Orleans city council required the mayor to purchase cottonseed oil, presumably for city lighting.“7 Yet all these efforts were greeted with loss and failure.
September 13, 1856
EXPERIMENTS WITH " BAKED BEANS " AS AN EXCLUSIVE DIET, UPON STRONG HEALTHY MEN.
Dr Salisbury hires six men to live upon a diet of only baked beans and coffee, but after 18 days, they "all presented such a forlorn, dilapidated appearance" that the doctor ordered a beef only diet to help them recover so that in just a few days "All felt unusually well, clear headed and happy."
XLIX. EXPERIMENTS WITH " BAKED BEANS " AS AN EXCLUSIVE DIET, UPON STRONG HEALTHY MEN.
In September, 1856, I engaged six strong, healthy men, in the vigor of life, ranging in age from 25 to 40 years, to feed upon a special line of diet solely, with the understanding that I would pay them $30 per month each, if they submitted faithfully to the rigid discipline laid down. At the same time I explained to them the kind of food upon which I should require them to live, the exercise and other regulations marked out. All thought the diet and drinks could be easily endured, in fact, enjoyed, especially as they would have no manual labor to perform. They all entered upon the undertaking with the feeling that they would have a fine time at my expense. The diet consisted first of baked beans and coffee. This to continue for one month or until otherwise ordered by me. Exercise to be a two-mile walk, morning and evening. To retu'e at 9 p. m. and rise at 6 a. m. Drinks between meals, cold water. On the 13th of September, the experiments began. Breakfast at 7 a. m., dinner at 12 noon, and supper at 6 p. m. I shall designate my six boarders by the letters A, B, C, D, E, F. All were strong, robust, free from disease, and having one regular movement of the bowels every day.
A weighed 160 lbs. Age 36 yrs.
B --145 lbs--30 yrs
The first day all felt well and enjoyed themselves greatly.
Towards evening began to bloat, but had no special feeling of discomfort. Slept well. Entered upon the second day feeling about as well as on the first, except that all were flatulent and constipated. Yet all had a scanty, hard movement of the bowels before evening. In the after part of the day they were very uncomfortable from the bloating. Took them on a brisk walk of two miles, which was something of a relief.
Symptoms of Progressive Paralysis or Locomotor Ataxy began to show themselves in all six cases on tenth clay. These paralytic and peculiar symptoms increased each day after the tenth. On sixteenth day the disease was so marked, that not one of the six could walk straight without support. All wobbled and dragged their legs, not being able to lift them clear of the floor.
My boarders, on the 19th morning, all presented such a forlorn, dilapidated appearance, that I feared I should lose my reputation as a caterer, and also all my guests, unless I changed my diet list. They had all lost heavily in weight, and were much debilitated.
A weighed 138 lbs. Loss in 18 days 22 lbs.
B 116 " " " 29 "
C " 136 " " " 19 "
D " 143 " " " 23 "
E " 147 " " " 25 "
F " 126 " " " 22 "
"When on the morning of the 19th day, I set before them nice beefsteaks, freed from fat and white tissue, they were all greatly delighted and ate ravenously of them. I gave to each 10 ounces of meat, with a good cup of clear coffee. Beef seasoned with butter, pepper and salt ; no other food or drinks. At dinner gave each 12 ounces of beefsteak, prepared as for breakfast, and half a pint of clear tea. The meal was hugely enjoyed.
All now began to breathe easier and to feel clearer about the head. Passages less frequent, though still large and numerous. During the afternoon, all were in a state of enjoyable relief, and were ready to speak a good word for their host and his house.
At supper, gave each 10 ounces of beefsteak, with a cup of clear tea. The meal was greatly relished. The eveuing was a pleasant one, all having a sense of relief from the extreme flatidence, bewildered heads, oppressed breathing and numbness of previous days. Retired at 9 p. m. All slept soundly and were ready to rise at 6 a. m. on the 20th morning. For breakfast, gave to each 12 ounces of broiled steak and haK a pint of clear coffee. Passages from bowels greatly lessened in quantity and frequency. Bloating almost gone. Heads quite clear, and all cheerful and happy. At dinner, gave each 1 lb. of nice broiled steak and half a pint of clear tea : meal greatly relished. All felt well and began to lose their haggard, shrunken look. Circulation good ; heads clear ; bloating gone ; movements beginning to be quite natural and few in number. At supper gave to each 12 ounces of broiled steak and half a pint of clear tea. All felt well during the evening. Retired at 9 p. m. Slept soundly.
Called up on 21st day at 6 a. m. All feeling well and anxious for breakfast. Gave each 1 lb. of broiled steak and half a slice of bread, with half a pint of clear coffee. All enjoyed the breakfast. Half an hour after breakfast gave them a brisk walk of two miles. All well, and felt better, brighter and clearer than before the experiments began. Bloating, diarrhoea, ringing in ears and dizzy head all gone. At dinner gave to each 1 lb. beefsteak, 1 slice of bread and half a pint of clear tea. No diarrhoea ; stools quite natural except more profuse. At supper gave each 14 ounces of broiled steak, half a shce of bread, and half a pint of clear tea. Meal greatly enjoyed. All gaining rapidly in strength and feeling splendidly. Retired at 9 p. m. All slept soundly.
Called up on 22d morning at 6 a. m. All in good trim, and loud in their praise of their host and his table. Gave each 1 lb. of broiled steak, half a pint of clear coffee and a slice of bread and butter. The meal was much enjoyed. All felt unusually well, clear headed and happy. Half an hour after breakfast gave them a long walk. At 12 m. each had 1 lb. of broiled steak, a slice of bread and a cup of clear coffee, which they took with great relish. After finishing the meal, I paid off my boarders and discharged them. With a feeling of regret and reluctance (I think on both sides) we separated. Still, they could not realize how I could keep up and "make both ends meet," while running a boarding house on this plan. I may add that I had throughout shared their diet, discipline and experiences in all respects.