that this Grout bill is not a prohibitive law; that it is simply one that
protects the dairy industry. It costs the farmers from 16 to 20 cents
to make butter, according to the season of the year, and if this article
can be sold down as low as 15 cents or 12 cents it makes it impossible
for the dairymen of the State to compete with such an article. The
purpose of the Grout bill, as I understand it, is simply to raise the
price of oleomargarine up somewhere near the cost of producing butter,
so that they may start in the market at equal prices. Then it is sold
colored, and the butter is sold colored, and they will have a fair chance
in the market, started equal; but if the one starts down at 10 cents or
9 cents and the other can not start until it reaches 16 or 18 cents, it
does not take much of a prophet to know what the conclusion of the
whole matter will be in the very near future the destruction of the
dairy industry of this country. That can not be avoided. The price
at which it must be sold is not excessive. It is not an excessive price.
It simply brings it up to the necessary cost of good butter, so that the
bill can not be attacked on the ground that it is an excessive tax and
that it puts them at a disadvantage with the farming interests of the
State. They start upon the same footing, and they are entitled then
to the same privilege.
I am very much obliged to the committee for their indulgence, and
I am sorry to have transgressed upon the time of the gentleman who
is to follow me.
Mr. TILLINGHAST. Will the gentleman answer one question ?
Mr. HAMILTON. Yes, sir.
Mr. TILLINGHAST. How much oleomargarine do you estimate was
sold in the State of Pennsylvania last year?
Mr. HAMILTON. I do not know anything about it.
Mr. ADAMS. What percentage do you think is sold as and for
Mr. HAMILTON. I should say 50 per cent, at least.
Mr. MATHEWSON. If you do not know about one thing how do you
know about the other?
Mr. HAMILTON. I am talking about the percentage we collect.
Mr. ADAMS. I would like to say, Mr. Chairman, that Mr. Blackburn,
who will now address the committee, only asks for ten minutes.
The CHAIRMAN. Very well.
STATEMENT OF JOSEPH H. BLACKBURN, DAIRY AND FOOD
COMMISSIONER OF OHIO.
Mr. BLACKBURN. Mr. Chairman, I will endeavor to set an example
to those who follow me by finishing my remarks within the allotted
time. I have heard this question discussed so much technically, scien-
tifically, therapeutically, and physiologically that I do not intend to
give any consideration whatever to those phases of this question. I
have been asked perhaps a dozen times since I have been in Washing-
ton, " Why don't you enforce your State laws?" I have been asked
that perhaps a dozen times in my own State. We have a State law
against the manufacture and sale of artificially colored oleomargarine.
It is not limited to the coloring or semblance of butter, but any color-
ing matter whatever is forbidden.
I desire to say that I have been dairy and food commissioner of the
State of Ohio for about four years. In that time I have spent nearly
$200,000 of the State money, and of that amount I presume 60 per cent
has been spent in oleomargarine prosecutions. The difficulties to con-
tend with in the State of Ohio may be very briefly stated. The prin-
cipal sales of oleomargarine, as everybody knows, are in the large cities,
where butter, in the winter time especially, is scarce and hard to get.
It has been sold so long in the larger cities of Ohio and I refer to the
cities of Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati, Dayton, and Toledo as the
larger cities in the State that there is a certain clientele built up, many
of whom want oleomargarine, many of whom are deceived into believing
that they are buying and using butter ; but when a prosecution is brought
there is so much sentiment there, or manufactured for the occasion
through the manipulation of the public press and the carefully worded
S. Kep. 2043 11
reading notices and advertisements and through the personal solicita-
tion and interference with the jurymen or those who are to be sum-
moned as jurymen to try a case, that it is almost impossible to secure
convictions in these large towns, or many of them.
I will refer to one case that happened a short time ago in a smaller
town in Ohio, the city of Portsmouth. The case was tried by a jury,
as all our cases have been until this week. The law makes the sale of
colored oleomargarine a misdemeanor, and we have always gone on the
theory that these cases must be tried by a jury. We are working now
under a new plan, and trying to do away with the jury because it
increases the difficulties of securing conviction. In the case of a jury
trial the State must have twelve men who are convinced that there has
been a violation of the law, while the defendant only needs one to hang
the jury; and, under a peculiarity of our jury law, a member of the
jury is not paid unless the defendant is either acquitted or convicted,
so that hung juries do not get their fees until the case is finally decided.
In this case that I have reference to, in Portsmouth, the case was not
tried very hard sometimes our cases are fought very bitterly and a
great deal of feeling develops but the very next day after that jury
hung, or disagreed, two members of the jury went to work for grocers
in that town. We have no proof that this was prearranged, but we
hope to get some proof on that subject in the near future, and ever} r -
thing indicates, and everybody who has paid any attention to the sub-
ject believes, that that jury was corrupted. That is simply one
instance. I could relate dozens of such cases.
I will state that it has become a common practice in the larger cities
and I refer to Cincinnati and Dayton, where instances have lately
occurred of the jury having acquitted the defendant for having sold col-
ored oleomargarine as oleomargarine; not as butter, but colored oleo-
margarine for the jury to be taken out and banqueted by the defendant
and the defendant's attorneys. 1 will state further that I have been
informed by one of the most prominent representatives of grocery inter-
ests in the State of Ohio that they are encouraged to sell oleomargarine
for butter. I asked him why and by whom. He said, "Well, there is
not much in the grocery business any more, and if we sell oleomarga-
rine as oleomargarine we make about a cent or 2 cents a pound on it.
If we sell it for butter, we make 8 or 10 cents a pound or more." I
asked him who encouraged this. He said, "Well, when the manu-
facturers' agents come around and give us a guarantee to protect us
against all prosecution it is a pretty big temptation for a fellow to
take chances." I said, "Are they in the habit of doing this?" He
said, ' ' They are." I understand it is a very common practice for manu-
facturers, as an inducement to handle oleomargarine contrary to the
laws of Ohio, not only to pay part or all of their license fees, their
national license, but also to give them assurances and guarantees that
under no circumstances will they permit them to be involved in any
trouble on account of the activity of the dairy and food department;
that they guarantee them against any loss whatever; that they will
protect them and do protect them.
Perhaps the largest oleo manufacturing concern in our State, the
Capital City Dairy Company, of Columbus, provides a lawyer nearly
all of whose time is taken up in defending retail dealers. They not
only furnish a lawyer, but they furnish a stenographer to make and
keep a record of every case. They furnish two or three agents, who
usually appear on the ground when a trial is about to be had, a day
or two in advance, and secure all the information they can. I presume
they usually have a list or copy of the venire the jurymen whom we
propose to call upon. And in one instance recently, that is the Ports-
mouth case, of which I spoke a while ago, which was tried the second
time last week, the attorney for this Capital City Dairy Company in
Portsmouth pulled a list out of his pocket that had the venire on it
all the members whom we expected to serve on that jury and he had
a chart made showing each gentleman's politics, his religion, his pre-
dilections on these various questions, and especially with reference to
the pure-food law, and so on six or seven very important points.
Now, that case was not half tried by the defendants, not half; yet the
jury stood nine to three for acquittal.
Senator FOSTER. Have they ever had any convictions in the State of
Mr. BLACKBURN. Yes; a few. I should say that when cases are tried
by a jury we secure about 25 or 30 per cent of convictions, and those
are usually in the smaller towns or some place where the sentiment is
in favor of butter and opposed to oleomargarine.
Mr. TILLINGHAST. Were those indictments you speak of indictments
for the sale of oleomargarine as oleomargarine or for the sale of oleo-
margarine as butter?
Mr. BLACKBURN. Our law is a little different from most of the State
laws. We do not have indictments.
Mr. TILLINGHAST. The complaint, or whatever it was.
Mr. BLACKBURN. It is a charge made in the justice of the peace
court. These cases that I have mentioned have been for the sale of
oleomargarine as oleomargarine artificially colored contrary to law.
Senator FOSTER. Do these same people defend the cases where they
are tried for selling oleomargarine for butter?
Mr. BLACKBURN. My impression is that they defend every case, but
I can not recall now one particular instance of that kind.
Mr. TILLINGHAST. Do you remember making any prosecutions where
the complaint was that oleomargarine was sold for butter under your
Mr. BLACKBURN. I remember of having made a number of such
prosecutions, and according to my recollection I will not be positive
on that point they were all defended by the manufacturers or their
Mr. TILLINGHAST. What was the result of those prosecutions, so far
as you remember?
Mr. BLACKBURN. The majority of them resulted in convictions the
Mr. ADAMS. I would like to ask you what percentage of oleomar-
garine, in your judgment, in the State of Ohio is sold for butter at
retail stores, or finally sold upon the tables of hotels, restaurants, and
boarding houses, as well as to the ordinary consumer?
Mr. BLACKBURN. I would have to guess at that, Mr. Adams. My
judgment would be 75 per cent of it. I might state that the three lead-
ing hotels in the city of Columbus the Chittendon, the Neale House,
and the Southern Hotel are now and have been for months back using
oleomargarine on their tables in defiance of law.
Mr. TILLINGHAST. They know what they are using?
Mr. BLACKBURN. Certainly; the manager knows, but does the guest
who pays $5 a day for entertainment know?
Mr. SPRINGER. They must have good oleomargarine when they
deceive the guests of a $5 a day hotel.
Mr. BLACKBURN. It is good oleomargarine. I have no feeling against
their goods at all. That only illustrates the necessity for this kind of
I have studied this matter for four years. I went into it abso-
lutely without bias or prejudice. I do not now, and never did, own
a nickel's worth of interest in any dairy farm nor in any cow, nor
am I interested the other way in anything that goes into oleomargarine,
directly or indirectly. I have studied the matter for four years, and
it is my earnest conviction that it will require national legislation of a
very radical character to stamp the fraud out of the manufacture and
sale of oleomargarine, and I refer especially to the sale of oleomar-
garine, because the manufacturer produces oleomargarine as oleomar-
garine, and usually sells it to the jobber and agent and dealer for
precisely what it is. There is very little deception practiced at that
stage of the game.
STATEMENT OF FRANCIS W. LESTRADE, OF NEW YORK CITY.
Mr. LESTRADE. Mr. Chairman and gentlemen of the committee, I
wish to state on the outstart that it is seldom I am called upon to speak
The CHAIRMAN. You are interested in the manufacture, are you, or
are you acting as counsel ?
Mr. LESTRADE. No; I was about to say that I am nothing more than
a practical everyday butter man. I have been in business for twenty
years, and what I say before you is entirely from a practical stand-
point, not a theoretical standpoint, and not from any scientific point
of view, but from what has come under my observation as a butter
man ever since I was a boy.
I am a member of the firm of Lestrade Brothers, New York City.
I am an owner of and interested in dairy farms, both in the West and
in the East. I am also interested in cows. I am also interested in
three different creameries. I am also, and this is our chief business
in the city, an exporter, a packer of butter and cheese to the hot
countries as well as to the Continent, but mostly to the hot countries.
Our business extends over all the hot countries that is, the tropical
climates, consisting of the West Indies, the East Indies, South Africa,
China, South America, and even nowinco the Philippine Islands.
So what I have to say is entirely in my own interest, and more par-
ticularly as an exporter of the genuine butter that goes out of this
country to foreign climates.
In the few opening remarks that I have to make I may go over some
ground with which you are all more or less acquainted. I desire to
state to you maybe some of you do not know the fact that in this
country of ours there are, we will say, four classes of butter. The
first is the packing stock, or the original dairy butter. That is the
commonest butter that comes before us, as butter men. It is made by
the innumerable farms throughout the great West. We get very little
of it from the Eastern States; they make little chunks of butter in
their barnyards, in their barns, on the side stoops of their houses. I
mean the farmers who have one, two, three, four, five, a dozen, or fifty
cows. They bring these little chunks to the country store where they
trade, and this butter is put before the grocer or the provision man,
and in return he gives them calicoes and groceries of different kinds.
I have a man stationed in the West yes, two of them in different
parts of the West, and they biry up this class of butter. Originally,
up to within four or five years, the price ran from 6 to 10 cents a
pound. Ten cents was the highest price. My men will go around
and gather in all this roll butter in little pats of all colors and descrip-
tions, wrapped in swaddling clothes and old towels and sheets and
everything else, and they are packed down into tierces holding 300 to
400 pounds. They are brought to a central point and then shipped
by the "carload to me at New York City, or else 1 store the goods in
Chicago or in the West until I need them for my manipulation in col-
oring the butter and resalting it and sending it most of it to the hot
The second class of butter that is made in this country is ladles.
Ladles is made from this same class of butter I spoke of a moment
ago. The ladlers send out, as I do, their men from Chicago and from
other large places in the West, and they gather in this same butter as
I do and take it to their creameries so-called creameries. That is,
they make ladles out of this butter, but they do not use cream if they
manipulate it. It is done with milk, but as a rule it is merely manip-
ulated with a little salt and a little water and recolored and put up into
60-pound tubs, and there you have what is called the ladle butter.
By a little further process and a little more working you have what
is commonly termed imitation creamery. That is a little higher order
of ladle butter, and that is brought on to this market and sold.
The next that comes is the creamery butter. That is, as we all
know, made out of the very best cream, as a rule, or we try to make it
out of the best cream; and it is put before those who can pay the price
in the East and in the West.
There is a new butter that has come on the stage what is called
renovated or process butter. I may later on refer to that again.
Right here 1 would like to say that up to within ten or possibly
twelve years ago I was preaching and talking and threatening my dif-
ferent men throughout the country, telling them that their butter was
poor, that we had to contend with the foreign butter, and that the for-
eigners were making better butter than we were in this country; that
it was hard work for us to compete in the hot countries and throughout
the foreign countries with the Danish butter, with the French butter,
with the Italian butter, with the Irish butter; that our butter was poor;
that it would not keep, and that we must do something; that they must
bring things up to a higher level; that they must take more pains with
their butter. I sent them samples of the Danish butter. I sent them
samples of the French butter. We experimented. I went at that
time, at considerable cost, among the different creameries and put in my
own money to endeavor to raise the standard of our butter; but, gen-
tlemen, let me tell, you as a butter man, as a man whose bread and but-
ter I mean that earnestly is entirely in the product of butter, I tell
you honestly that when the new product oleomargarine came on this
market some ten or twelve years ago, I saw it and examined it, and I
said, ( ' Thank God for oleomargarine. " Why ? Said I, t ' That is going
to bring up butter to a higher grade." Why, in the old days of twelve
or fifteen years ago, when the ladle butter came into our markets, we
called it bull butter. Invariably it was mushy, invariably it was soft,
invariably almost it was in lumps, in different colors, in globules, sway-
ing and straying like a fluid; and I bought samples of oleomargarine
and sent it to our men and said: " Gentlemen, unless you can make your
butter similar to oleomargarine, butter in this country is dead." Why,
it opened their eyes; and then, by George, when I sent them butterine,
I believe they called it, with creamery butter generally put into it,
that smelt like a summer rose compared to our creameries, and said:
"Unless you can make your creameries similar to that you might as
well go out of business, and give it up to this new product that has
come in," it was the means, which every butter man knows, of revolu-
Mr. ADAMS. Oh, no; we do not know that.
Mr. LESTRADE. I know it from a practical standpoint. You may
be a practical man but I know it. I have been there all my life. This
is a matter of bread and butter to me.
The CHAIRMAN. Speak to the committee, please, Mr. Lestrade.
Mr. LESTRADE. I am particularly interested in butter, Mr. Chair-
man. From that time gradually everything changed. We began to
bring in a better grade of ladles. We began to bring in a better grade
of imitation creamery. We began to bring in a better grade of cream-
eries, until to-day we have arrived at almost a stage of perfection as
far as creameries are concerned.
Senator HEITFELD. What do they do now with that butter that you
used to gather up in Kansas and Nebraska ? How do they handle it
or pack it now ?
Mr. LESTRADE. I will answer that now immediately ., For some
time it was a question, of course, in our minds as to whether oleomar-
garine was not going to knock things sideways as far as the butter
interests of this country were concerned. We watched it very closel} r ;
and of ccarse, naturally, being a practical man in the business I
watched it, and I found that our dairy interests were growing very
rapidly and that we were increasing in the quality of our goods year
by year. I found, and I still find to-day, that, as the gentleman who
first spoke here very wisely remarked, the butter industries of Penn-
sylvania are growing and widening and more creameries are going up
through that great State. That is true. Instead of oleomargarine
being a detriment to butter, it has, as an absolute fact, been a great
benefit to all butter men. It has not, as a matter of fact, lowered the
price of butter. It has not taken away the profit, as, from a theoret-
ical standpoint, a great many of these gentlemen will tell you. I
know differently, and I can preve it and show it to you.
Ten or twelve years ago this packing stock that I spoke of we could
buy at from 7 to 10 cents a pound during the spring months. New but-
ter comes in May, and we get this butter in the months of May, June,
Juty, and August; very little, however, in August. The lowest price
of butter during the year is in the latter part of May, in June, and
sometimes in July. Year by year I found, as a large consumer of
this cheap article, that I was obliged to pay more money for it. This
was due merely to the natural laws governing a country like ours and
the growth of it. But the demand for butter outgrew the industry,
and I will merely state that for the last two years the price has gradu-
ally gone up from 8 or 10 cents a pound until a year ago I put that same
butter away at 13 to 14 cents a pound. This spring I put it away at
from 14 to 16 cents a pound. We are obliged to put large quantities of
it away for our fall and winter use, for it does not come in quantities
at that time of the year, so we are obliged to buy it in the flood in the
Mr. TILLINGHAST. Will you permit a question ?
Mr. LESTRADE. Yes, sir.
Mr. TILLINGHAST. How does the quality of that article compare now
with what it was ten or twelve years ago ?
Mr. LESTRADE. It is all made of dairy butter. Understand, it is not
ladle butter. It is not manufactured by machinery or anything like
that. It is made by the wives and daughters of the farmers. Conse-
quently it is a hard, solid A 1 piece of cheap butter, made with all the bac-
teria and all the parasites and everything else all shoved in and brought
to us, and we manipulate it and wash it and put it on the market.
Mr. FLANDERS. How long have they been making this ladle butter
gathering this Western butter and making it ?
Mr. LESTRADE. Since I have been in the business.
Mr. FLANDERS. When they first began there was a great quantity of
it, was there not? It was a drug on the market?
Mr. LESTRADE. A what?
Mr. FLANDERS. A drug on the market.
Mr. LESTRADE. Not necessarily, unless it was utterly unfit for use.
Mr. FLANDERS. This butter that is brought in by the Western farm-
ers and gathered up by the stores is sent to central stations just as fast
as it is produced, is it not?
Mr. LESTRADE. Well, the rolls are.
Mr. FLANDERS. Would not that account for the increase in price?
When you first began to gather up this butter there was no market
for it, was there? It was an experiment, was it not?
Mr. LESTRADE. No; it was no experiment. It was an everyday
Mr. FLANDERS. The reason I asked this question was that your tes-
timony, so far as it goes, is contrary to all I have ever heard on the
subject, and I have given it a great deal of study. I know of your
firm. Are you not an exporter?
Mr. LESTRADE. Yes.
Mr. FLANDERS. Do you agree with Bardon Brothers on this propo-
Mr. LESTRADE. I believe I do.
Mr. FLANDERS. Do you sell to the home trade?
Mr. LESTRADE. No.
Mr. FLANDERS. It is simply a question of money in the foreign
market, is it not?
Mr. LESTRADE. Entirely as an exporter I am now talking.
Mr. FLANDERS. Do you observe the laws of your State on this
Mr. LESTRADE. How do you mean do I observe them?
Mr. FLANDERS. Do you obey them ?
The CHAIRMAN. That is hardly a fair question.
Mr. LESTRADE. I do not know what you mean.
Mr. FLANDERS. The point I would like to make, if the committee
will permit me, is that this butter originally, when they conceived
the idea of gathering it up from the farmers or the stores, had never
been used. When they found they could use it, they began to gather
it up, and there came a demand for it, and they gathered it as fast as
it was brought, and that raised the price.
Mr. LESTEADE. This gentleman may possibly be correct about that,
Mr. Chairman, thirty years ago, but I am not going as far back as
that thirty or forty years ago, when there were pioneers in the
West but it is not correct since twenty -five years ago; and a quarter
of a century is pretty far back to go.
I will say also that I do sell the home trade in creameries. I am
interested in two or three creameries, and I was about to go on to the