margarine which you have given, have you included the various taxes
and licenses which may be paid along the line in order to comply with
the laws governing its sale, or have you simply given the cost of manu-
It is simply the cost of manufacture which
has been referred to, as I understand the special taxes and the pound
tax. The special taxes, together with the pound tax, I presume add
about 50 per cent to the cost of production, I should say. There are
7,000 dealers in the United States at $48 each.
Eepresentative WILLIAMS. Eetail dealers?
Commissioner WILSON. Yes.
Eepresentative WILLIAMS. Then there are the wholesale licenses?
Commissioner WILSON. The wholesale license fee is $480, and there
are 300 or 400 wholesale dealers.
Eepresentative WILLIAMS. And the various States have legislation
on the point, too, have they not?
Commissioner WILSON. And then there are the manufacturers, 25 or
30 of them, who pay $600 each.
Eepresentative HAUGEN. How many wholesale dealers are there?
Commissioner WILSON. I would not like to say; I have not the exact
figures in my mind. There are a good many.
Eepreseutative HENRY. Mr. Commissioner, the reduction of the tax
proposed by the bill this committee has been considering, from 2 cents
a pound to a quarter of a cent per pound, would of course reduce the
cost of uncolored oleomargarine to the consumer by just that amount,
would it not?
Commissioner WILSON. Oh, yes ; yes sir.
Representative HENRY. And would it materially interfere with the
consumption of oleomargarine as used for cooking purposes in hotels,
saloons, etc.? Would it not be a positive benefit to the laboring man
who uses oleomargarine to have the price reduced practically 2 cents a
Commissioner WILSON. Well, indeed, I hardly think so. I think the
laboring man has a right to have his eye tickled about the color of
his butter just as well as we have.
Representative HENRY. It is not a question of tickling his eye, but
a question of whether he is to be deceived or not. Is the colored
oleomargarine any the less palatable?
Commissioner WILSON. Oh, no; I presume it would be just as pala-
table, sir, uncolored as colored. It is simply a question of its appear-
ance. I think the same result would follow prohibiting the coloring of
butter that would follow prohibiting the coloring of oleomargarine; it
would hurt its sale in the same way. It would make it objectionable.
The two products stand exactly on the same basis as far as that is
Representative ALLEN. Following that line, I understand you to say,
Mr. Wilson, that you believe this tax on colored oleomargarine would
entirely prohibit its manufacture. That being the case, the demand
being so decreased, there would not be enough demand to justify the
manufacture of uncolored oleomargarine, would there?
Commissioner WILSON. Those are abstract questions about which I
do not like to venture an opinion. You gentlemen who are farmers
know more about it than I do.
Representative HENRY. You do not for a moment suppose that the
practical abolishment of the tax on uncolored oleomargarine, or its
reduction from 2 cents a pound to one- quarter of a cent a pound
would prevent the consumption of oleomargarine to a very great extent,
do you ?
Commissioner WILSON. You would have to commence de novo and
educate the people. They started in with it colored, in the first place.
I presume everybody was afraid of it, even colored, in the first place;
and now, if you take the coloring away, you will have to start again
and get the people acquainted with it, and make them know that it
tastes just as good, although it does not look so well.
Representative HENRY. But the party using it for cooking purposes
would not pay the extra 2 cents a pound for uncolored oleomargiue?
Commissioner WILSON. I do not know whether he would or not. My
judgment is that such a law would be a serious blow at the industry.
That is simply my opinion.
Representative WILLIAMS. I would like to ask you a question there,
Mr. Commissioner. Have you read the Grout bill, which is now pending
before the committee?
Commissioner WILSON. Yes, sir.
Representative WILLIAMS. Is there anything in that bill which would
enable an internal-revenue officer to punish a man guilty of deception in
selling oleomargarine as butter, any more than the existing law?
Commissioner WILSON. I think not. I think the difference would
simply be in reducing the number of people who would do so, and possi-
bly reducing the number of people who would invite it. It would change
OLEOMARGARINE . 763
the condition of things from what exists now; there is no question about
that, because I think the sale of oleomargarine, not for butter, but the
sale of oleomargarine blank, is largely induced by the purchaser.
Representative WILLIAMS. He simply does not want his neighbor to
know that it is oleomargarine that he is buying, although he knows it
Commissioner WILSON. That is it exactly.
The ACTING CHAIRMAN. As to the coloring of butter and oleomarga-
rine, you put the two on the same basis, as I understand?
Commissioner WILSON. Oh, coloring accomplishes the same thing
The ACTING CHAIRMAN. Do you think it as necessary for butter to
be colored as for oleomargarine to be colored and what difference
would you find in that respect, as between seasons, in butter?
Commissioner WILSON. There are certain seasons of the year, you
know, when butter is nearly white; and there are certain seasons of the
year when, by reason of the food consumed by the animal, the butter
is almost the color of the commercial product. Indeed, I think (though
I do not want to say much about it, because I do not know much about
it) the dairyman can feed his cows so as to color the butter. I may be
wrong about it, but that is my impression.
Representative WILSON. As a matter of fact, are not butter and
oleomargarine both colored for the same purpose?
Commissioner WILSON. Oh, yes; that is my understanding of it.
Representative HENRY. You would make this distinction, would
you that one is a natural color, and the other is entirely artificial?
Representative WILSON. But one is a natural color for a very short
while only, of course.
Commissioner WILSON. They can feed the cattle so as to get the
desired color in the butter, I think, but not so uniformly, and in a
state so pleasing to the eye, as by using coloring matter in the butter.
Representative HENRY. The demand for that uniform and pleasing
appearance to the eye, to which you allude so pathetically, is largely
an originated taste, an acquired taste, is it not? If people were accus-
tomed to use white butter or white oleomargarine, there would be no
necessity for the use of coloring matter.
Commissioner WILSON. I say, if you commence and educate again,
yes, sir; most certainly. I do not think it would hurt me at all. I
could eat white butter. I have eaten it many a time. I have churned
many a churning of it myself.
Representative HAUGEN. You stated a while ago that these special
taxes added 50 per cent, I believe, to the cost of the oleomargarine.
Did 1 understand you correctly?
Commissioner WILSON. Well, my recollection is that the special tax
receipts would not be that much. Twice 8 is 16. The pound tax from
oleomargarine last year must have amounted to about sixteen or seven-
teen hundred thousand dollars, or somewhere along there.
Mr. KNIGHT. It was $1,660,000.
Commissioner WILSON. You see, there is between three and four
hundred thousand dollars of special taxes. The number of special
tax-payers has been doubled in the last year. We had a little more
money to use for that purpose, and we have done a good deal of work
along that line. The result has been that we have doubled the number
of retail oleomargarine dealers in the country.
Representative HAUGEN. That would not be much over 2 cents a
pound, would it ? According to those figures, the cost of manufacturing
oleomargarine would be about 4 cents a pound, if your statements are
correct, if the 2 cents a pound is 50 per cent of cost?
Representative WILLIAMS. I understood him to say that that was
the amount collected that the tax was 2 cents a pound.
Commissioner WILSON. Yes, sir. With a tax of 2 cents a pound,
the $1,600,000 collected would represent about 80,000,000 pounds.
Kepresentative WILLIAMS. That does not include these licenses and
other expenses, does it?
Commissioner WILSON. No. Between three and four hundred thou-
sand dollars of the $1,600,000 comes from the special taxes.
Kepresentative HAUGEN. That would be about 2J per cent, would it
Commissioner WILSON. Yes, sir; something like that.
Kepresentative HAUGEN. Then, if that is 50 per cent of the cost, the
cost of the oleomargarine to the manufacturer would be about 4J cents
Commissioner WILSON. I do not know whether the 8 cents which
has been referred to includes the pound tax and the special tax, or not.
Of course if it does that would mean that the actual cost of manufac-
ture was 5 and a fraction or 6 cents a pound. If it does not it means
that the cost is 10 cents and a fraction. I do not know anything about
that subject; I have not gone into it.
Kepresentative BAILEY. Have you seen the bill introduced recently
by Mr. Wadsworth along this line?
Commissioner WILSON. Yes, sir.
Representative BAILEY. Do you think that bill will meet the require-
ments of protecting the people as against fraud and the fraudulent sale
Commissioner WILSON. I do, in the fullest possible way, and still
allow them to manufacture oleomargarine.
Kepresentative WRIGHT. As I understand it, the figures which you
have given of 8 cents a pound, cost of manufacture, and also in regard
to the 50 per cent which you mentioned, are only given according to your
opinion, without having the figures before you?
Commissioner WILSON. That is all.
The CHAIRMAN. If that is all, we thank you very much, Mr. Wilson,
for your information.
Commissioner WILSON. I have brought here Dr. Crampton, pur chem-
ist, to whom I refer all scientific matters, if the gentlemen wish to ask
him anything on this subject.
STATEMENT OF LE, CHAELES A. CRAMPTON, CHEMIST, INTEENAL-
EEVENUE BUEEAU, TEEASUEY DEPAETMENT.
Representative ALLEN. Doctor, what position do you occupy ?
Dr. CRAMPTON. I am the chemist of the Internal-Revenue Office.
* Kepresentative ALLEN. What have you under your immediate super-
vision or care in that line?
Dr. CRAMPTON. I have the investigation of products which are sub-
ject to an internal-revenue tax.
Representative ALLEN. Oleomargarine?
Dr. CRAMPTON. Oleomargarine, and other products.
Representative ALLEN. If you have had any occasion to investigate
or make an analysis of oleomargarine, I wish you would state to the
committee to what extent your researches have gone, and what have
been their results ?
Dr. CRAMPTON. The great bulk of my work on that product is in the
direction of determining whether a suspected sample is oleomargarine
or butter. That constitutes the greater part, nine-tenths or ninety-
nine one-hundredths, of my work in connection with the product. I
have, however, occasionally made a special investigation of the article,
as to the ingredients which are used in it. and so forth.
Representative ALLEN. Do you know from what manufacturer the
oleomargarine which you have examined has come or of what factory
it was the product?
Dr. CRAMPTON. Not in all cases. I do, however, in the case of these
samples which I have in my hand, which are, you might say, a supple-
ment to the report of Revenue Agent McGinnis.
Representative ALLEN. Just go ahead and make your statement in
that regard in such way as you desire.
Dr. CRAMPTON. These samples were sent in by the revenue agent at
the time he made his investigation of the factories in Chicago, and are
samples which he took of the materials which entered into the manu-
facture of oleomargarine at these factories at the time he made his
investigation. These materials are probably quite well known to the
committee as the ordinary ingredients of oleomargarine. Three of
these samples came from one place and two from another.
Representative ALLEN. Designate the places.
Dr. CRAMPTON. Do you want the name of the manufacturers from
whom they came?
Representative ALLEN. Yes.
Dr. CRAMPTON. The three samples came from Hammond Company,
Hammond, Ind., near Chicago. The two samples came from the Inter-
national Packing Company, of Chicago.
The three samples are, respectively, oleo oil, neutral lard, and cotton-
seed oil. These I have examined with a view simply of determining
whether they are or are not what they are represented to be, and as to
their general character as ingredients of oleomargarine, whether they
are or are not fit materials to use for that purpose. This examina-
tion I made under the direction of the commissioner, simply as a sup-
plement to the revenue agent's reports; and I may say that these sam-
ples speak for themselves, without any investigation. They seem to be
wholesome and palatable, and proper materials for the production of
this commodity, the manufacture of which is licensed by law, and with
which we have to deal. If the committee cares to see these samples I
will be very glad to exhibit them.
Representative ALLEN. Do you find anything in the composition of
those samples which render them deleterious as food for the human
Dr. CRAMPTON. No, I do not; no, sir. Of course, the investigation
of them which I made was not a searching bacteriological investiga-
tion or a very extensive investigation; because they are articles which
are pretty well known, and have been investigated a great deal.
Representative ALLEN. What is the relative proportion of bacteria
found in oleomargarine and butter?
Dr. CRAMPTON. I am not able to speak on that subject as to my own
investigations. I have not made investigations along that line.
Representative ALLEN. But you give it to this committee as your
opinion, as an officer of the Government in charge of that duty, and
disinterested in the matter, that oleomargarine is a healthful article of
Dr. CRAMPTON. Yes, sir; I have no hesitation in saying that. As
the Commissioner said in his remarks, we base the action of the office
largely upon the extensive investigation which was made in the year
1886 into the character of this product as a food material. At that
time the opinion of the leading scientists of the country was, as the
Commissioner has stated, in favor of the product that it was not, in
general, a material which should be condemned as an article of food.
And while I have kept watch of literature on such matters since that
time, I have not been able to find any chemical literature or any patent
bearing upon the subject which has led me to suppose that the process
of manufacture has changed radically in any way from the time the
original bill was passed.
Representative COONEY. I would like to ask you a question for my
own information. I was not in here when the Commissioner commenced
his remarks. When I came in he was speaking with reference to that
Senate document, and stating that what he read was the substance of
the foundation upon which the internal revenue law was based and
that was in regard to these fats which are used in the production of
oleomargarine. It was stated that if they were permitted to remain
unused in the product for a little while, or placed in vessels which were
not absolutely untainted, they would become an obnoxious
Representative WILLIAMS. "Offensive" was the word he used.
Representative COONEY. (Continuing.) An offensive product. That
is your experience, likewise, is it?
Dr. CRAMPTON. Yes, sir.
Representative COONEY. Now, what I would like to know is what
means the Government has of knowing that this fat is used at the
proper time and in the proper way by the manufacturers of oleomar-
Dr. CRAMPTON. Well, I presume it has no means of ascertaining the
condition of the materials, except that the factories are open at all
times to the inspection and supervision of the internal-revenue officers.
Commissioner WILSON. Pardon me, but may I insert a few words
right there? The fact that " the first law of nature is self-preservation"
is the answer to that question. If the materials are not used before
they become rancid, they have lost their substance and are forever
ruined; so that the manufacturers can not sell what they make of such
Representative WADSWORTH. It is the same as with cream, in butter
making. If your cream is not used at the proper time, at the exact
moment, your butter is of an inferior quality. The same law applies to
oleomargarine. If you do not use the materials at the proper time the
manufactured product is of poor quality.
Representative COONEY. The statement of the Commissioner, then,
as I understand it, is that the product, when the materials were not
used at the proper time, would be offensive and obnoxious in itself.
Representative WILSON. In other words, it would tell its own tale?
Doctor CRAMPTON. Yes; that is the ground upon which we have
always proceeded. That is just what is stated in that testimony.
Representative COONEY. And the process of manufacturing the oleo-
margarine out of these fats at improper times would not render the
detection of that obnoxious quality any the less easy? Is that what I
Dr. CRAMPTON. I think that is so.
Representative WILSON. In other words, it would not take the offen-
Dr. CRAMPTON. No. Now, I do not know that such processes have
not been perfected; I am not undertaking to say that. I do not make
inspections of factories myself, and that is a matter of which I can not
speak from my personal knowledge. It may be that methods and proc-
esses are used for renovating such fats. We know that they do reno-
vate butter. But if such practices are carried on they have not come
to my knowledge. No such knowledge has come to me, or, so far as I
know, to the Internal-Revenue Office. We have gone upon the suppo-
sition that this statement is true that these fats can not, after they
have once become rancid, be successfully renovated and reused. That
is the ground which we have always taken. If things have changed,
and if new methods have been perfected, or if something unusual has
occurred in the industry whereby this can be accomplished, we do not
know of it, sir; we have no knowledge of it.
Representative STOKES. If such processes had been discovered, is it
not likely that in the course of your reading upon the subject some
information in regard to them would have come to you?
Dr. CRAMPTON. I think so; yes, sir.
Representative WILLIAMS. The dairymen would have reported it to
Representative BAILEY. Mr. Williams, I would suggest that the time
is slipping by, and we have several men yet to hear, some of whom are
expert butterine makers.
Representative WILLIAMS. Mr. Commissioner, I would like to ask
you this question : Has there been reported to your office any attempt
to do away with the offensiveness which would follow from the stand-
ing of these ingredients?
Commissioner WILSON. No, sir.
Representative WILLIAMS. Nothing of the kind has been reported
by the dairy interests or by anybody else?
Commissioner WILSON. No, sir.
Representative WILLIAMS. That is what I want to know.
Representative BAILEY. I will say to the committee that we have
here the two expert butterine manufacturers from Armour and Swift's
great factories at Kansas City, who are perfectly familiar with the
manufacture of the product. If Dr. Wiley will now come before the
committee, we should be glad to hear him for just a moment, and then
have him give way to these men who are actually engaged in the manu-
facture of butterine in two of the greatest manufacturing establishments
of the world.
Representative WILSON. I would like to ask Dr. Crampton just one
more question. I want to know, Doctor (if you know), what is the dif-
ference between butter and oleomargarine, so far as the chemical ele-
ments which enter into each are concerned?
Dr. CRAMPTON. They are very much the same, with the exception of
the small amount of what are called the volatile or soluble fatty acids,
which enter into butter and which do not enter into oleomargarine. The
great bulk of the tat is of the same composition, chemically speaking;
they are both glycerides. Of course, these volatile, fatty acids are very
important, however; they give butter its flavor and taste, the r>leasant
"bouquet," you might say; and that is very important. There is no
question about that.
Dr. Crampton also submitted, as part of his remarks, the following
OFFICE OF COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE,
Washington, May 16, 1900.
The COMMISSIONER ow INTERNAL REVENUE.
SIR:* I have the honor to report that I have made an examination of five samples
of materials used in the manufacture of oleomargarine, sent in by Revenue Agent
McGinnis, and described by him in his two letters dated May 2.
Nos. 3972, 3973, and 3974 -vrere obtained from the G. H. Hammond Company, manu-
facturers of oleomargarine, Hammond, Ind.
Nos. 3975 and 3976 were obtained from the International Packing Company, manu-
facturers of oleomargarine, Chicago, 111.
These samples are designated as follows:
No. 3972, oleo oil, from Hammond.
No. 3973, neutral, from Hammond.
No. 3974, cotton-seed oil, from Hammond.
No. 3975, oleo oil, International Packing Company.
No. 3976, neutral lard, same.
I have made chemical and microscopical examination of these samples and find
them to be as described on the labels and the reports of the agent. I find nothing
objectionable about them, and should consider them entirely fit for use in the man-
ufacture of oleomargarine.
Respectfully, CHARLES A. CRAMPTON, Chemist.
STATEMENT OF DR. HARVEY W. WILEY, CHIEF CHEMIST UNITED
STATES DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE.
Eepresentative BAILEY. Dr. Wiley, please give your name to the
Dr. WILEY. My name is H. W. Wiley.
Eepresentative BAILEY. What position do you hold in the Govern-
ment, Dr. Wiley?
Dr. WILEY. I am chief chemist of the Department of Agriculture.
Representative BAILEY. Have you any knowledge of the component
parts of oleomargarine?
Dr. WILEY. Yes, sir.
Eepresentative BAILEY. Will you please tell the committee, in as
brief a way as you can, whether or not, in your judgment, it is a whole-
some article of food?
Eepresentative WILLIAMS. Before you answer that, excuse me one
moment while I ask you this question : Has not the Chemical Division
of the Department of Agriculture become, in a measure, the chemical
division of the entire Government? Are not things sent to you from
the other Departments to be investigated?
Dr. WILEY. Yes, sir.
Eepresentative WILLIAMS. From the Treasury Department and else-
Dr. WILEY. Yes, sir.
Eepresentative WILLIAMS. I simply wanted to bring ont that fact.
Dr. WILEY. Through the Secretary of Agriculture, we collaborate
with almost all the Departments of the Government, and especially the
With relation to the question just asked Dr. Crampton, I have here a
chart which will show you at a glance the difference between butter and
some of the other products. Butter is a much more complex substance
[At this point Dr. Wiley exhibited a chart, of which the following is
Composition of butter fat
Caprio ... ............
Dr. WILEY. This table shows the average composition of American
butter, a substance about which the committee has heard a great deal.
There may be some terms there which are not strictly legal, and which
some of you who are farmers may not thoroughly understand.
Representative WILLIAMS. The first item in the column is "dioxy-
stearic acid.' 7 What kin is that to stearin?
Dr. WILEY. That is a very near relation.
Representative WILLIAMS. Then it appears that butter has stearin