standard shades of yellow (and there are still others) which you can
find reproduced in the butter of commerce; but let me say, in justice to
the would-be monopolists of the national color of China, that the darker
shades are used by those who export butter to the French and other
islands near our new possessions. It is singular, yet true, that differ-
ent localities in the same State often call for lighter or darker shades
in their butter; and while nature often responds to new aud peculiar
demands of humanity, she has not yet produced the cow that will give
14 shades or more of yellow butter that are required to meet the
demand. If, therefore, the Grout bill becomes a law the creamery men
of the West will have the privilege of using auy number of so-termed
yellow colors, while the maker or seller of the substitute will be limited
to a solitary, separate, and painfully distinctive white, which only the
sense of taste will enable a consumer to detect from lard.
It is constantly asserted and reiterated by those behind this bill that
it is in the interest of and primarily for the benefit of the "poor farmer,"
which, I take it, eliminates the rich farmer from any interest or con-
cern in its outcome. If so, I oppose this bill as a fanner myself, owning
a few acres in New Jersey, whereon I assure you I can beat all my
neighbors in securing a crop of stones, showing that I am the poorest
farmer in the bunch, yet with my two little Jersey cattle I gain a
revenue sufficient to compensate me for my ignorance in other direc-
tions, as my milk pays me much more handsomely than any other part
of my operations as a fanner, and is a proposition which applies to
every other farmer in the county, the majority of whom sell milk to its
residents and are better satisfied with the returns than those from
any other product.
There is, however, a more serious aspect to this bill from the farmer's
point of view which, if they rightly understood it, they would be less
ready to be used and quoted as disciples of the false creed and doc-
trines which have been conceived in selfishness and sin, born under
misconception and falsehood and practiced with deception toward the
cow owners and consumers until the real merits of the question have
been hidden and obscured in a mighty clamor which has been manu-
factured for the present occasion, until even the representatives of the
whole people have been cajoled and misled into an indorsement of an
act intended to but partially, at most, benefit a class, instead of the
mass, of the people they are supposed to represent.
I contend that, far from injuring the farmer, the oleomargarine indus-
try can be made a positive, lasting benefit to him. At present in
States prohibiting oleomargarine the milk producer must sell either to
the milk dealer or to the creamery man. If this is true then would it
also be true that if oleomargarine makers were operating in all the
States a larger and still more profitable market for milk would be
gained, as the milk producer would have another large and steady com-
petitor for his product, with a certainty of still better prices; in proof
of which many farmers in New York and New Jersey are on record who
formerly sold their total product to the factories in those States.
Now, in harmony with what I have just stated, I want to digress and
say this: That we have in New Jersey a county called Sussex, which,
as I have already stated, produces the great bulk of the milk that is
sold in the State as milk. Owing to the agitation in the State legisla-
ture regarding oleomargarine, I have personally visited hundreds of
farmers in Sussex County, all of whom were in accord in saying that
they got better prices for their milk when we had oleomargarine factories
in New Jersey and New York than they have ever been able to get
That I am not alone in this contention I submit the following extract
from the July report, 1895, of the Hon. Ueorge W. Eoosevelt, United
States consul at Brussels, Belgium:
Some time since, France sent a delegation to Holland for the purpose of studying
the methods employed there for the suppression of frauds in butter making, and also
to ascertain if the manufacture of margarine (oleomargarine, butterine) has been
favorable to agricultural interests. The report contains the attestation of seven
mayors of communes in southern Holland, snowing that since the introduction of
the margarine industry in that country (Holland) not only has the price of milk
increased, but also the number of cattle, which plainly shows that the industry in
question has become a source of profit to the farmers.
That buttterine is a "large" subject is already well attested by the
mass of testimony that has been adduced before the lower House, like-
wise by the testimony which has been presented to this committee, and
by the more painful fact that an extraordinary large tax is sought to be
placed upon the product which is the subject of this discussion. I ask
the committee to bear with me a few minutes longer, in order to say that
the most bitter of our opponents no longer oppose oleomargarine on
the ground of unhealthfuluess or impurity. On the contrary, the con-
S. Rep. 2043 22
sensus of expert, authoritative opinion throughout the world is in favor
of its absolute purity in its inception or basic materials, and thorough
cleanliness in their manipulation and the completed product, and to-day,
if exact justice were done, the sign and synonym of perfect purity,
without suspicion of dross or alloy, would be the words, "Pure as but-
terine." For what other food product under the sun can the same be
said? Take any list of foods sold by the grocer, or any other purveyor
of eatables, and instantly you will be confronted with the suggestion
that the bulk of them are open to the suspicion of sophistication or
substitution of their most important or essential elements. This asser-
tion applies to butter more readily than to many other food necessi-
ties, as is evidenced by the efforts that have been made for some years
past to control the sale of renovated or process butter, and which in
truth is more urgently required than the commonly advertised and
open sale of oleomargarine.
It is the good fortune of this Government to have in its Department
of Agriculture one who has a world-wide fame as an expert on dairy
products. I refer to Prof. Henry B. Alvord, chief of the dairy division.
This gentleman is on record as a consistent advocate of the purity of
our dairy products and as opposed to all sham and fraud in the sale
of substitutes; willing that oleomargarine shall be sold as such, and
maintaining that the greater and more subtle fraud renovated butter
should be under the regulation of the Government.
To show this I am permitted to read a letter from Professor Alvord
to a prominent physician, giving his views on renovated butter. It is
as follows :
FEBRUARY 8, 1900.
Dr. J. J. BAUMANN,
661 Jersey Avenue, Jersey City, N. J.
DEAR SIR : Your inquiry has been received relating to process or renovated butter.
We have nothing printed upon this subject, and it would be impossible to give you
a full account of it within the limits of a letter.
Briefly, it is butter which has become unmerchantable, or what we would call bad
butter, running through all the degrees of badness, bought up cheaply, brought
together in large quantity, reduced to a limpid oil by melting, and clarified by both
chemical and mechanical processes, which are more or less secret. The oil is then
drawn off, a semblance of the crystallization or granulation of butter fat is obtained
by chilling, usually by spraying the fat into ice water, and then it is rechurned with
more or less sour milk or buttermilk to give it the new flavor, salted, and made up
It is in this form just what the name "renovated" implies. Unless adulterated with
other fats, which is not usual, it can be claimed to be pure butter, as far as chemical
composition is concerned. But many of the characteristics of good and fresh butter
are lacking, and the renovated article deteriorates very rapidly unless it is kept
The chief objection to this renovated butter is that it is sold in large quantities
under misrepresentation in place of fresh creamery butter, and at prices much above
its actual value. Fraud upon purchasers and consumers is thus perpetrated, and
this is the feature connected with the business which needs governmental interfer-
ence and regulation.
Very respectfully, yours, HENRY E. ALVORD.
I have here the original letter, which substantiates what I have read.
Further evidence ot the necessity for the regulation of this fraud is
found in the laws which have been passed here in the District of
Columbia, as well as in some of the States, and are published in Bul-
letin No. 26 of the Department of Agriculture, which you now have
before you. These laws are intended to secure in this District and in
the States mentioned a standard for pure butter, and require, in the
District of Columbia: 88 per cent of fat, 12 per cent of water, 5 per cent
of salt. Iowa : 80 per cent of fat, not over 15 per cent of water, not over
(j per cent of salt. Indiana: 80 per cent of fat. Georgia: 80 per cent
of fat. Oregon : Not over 14 per cent of water.
I might say, in addition, that these figures of water and salt open up
vistas of considerable adulteration or " filling."
Besides this, New York, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and one or two
Western States ( I think they are Wisconsin and Michigan, are they not?)
have laws providing for the selling of process butter under its true name.
Mr. ADAMS. Yes.
Mr. PERSON. But all of which are evaded or defied because of the
difficulty of its detection when sold as the pure butter of the "poor
farmer" or his master, the creamery man. Contrast this with the con-
ditions surrounding oleomargarine, which is subject to the laws of
thirty-two States and the Federal law, which spreads over and embraces
every sale of over 10 pounds from the dealer to the consumer through
the monthly reports which the revenue law exacts.
Taking the figures of the New York butter market the largest in the
country as an index, the receipts of butter there during 1900 show an
increased production of that article, the excess in 1900 over 1899 being
48,000 packages, the large falling off in exports proving that the home
consumption is increasing rapidly, and also proves that the price of
butter in other countries is less than in the United States, as Canada
and Australia undersell the United States in the English and other
Kuropean markets, which all tends to illustrate clearly that through
the operation of the tax laws against oleomargarine and the import duty
against butter, the people of the United States are compelled to pay
more for their butter than people of other countries.
Mr. KNIGHT. May I interrupt you a moment. Do you know what the
receipts were in New York in 1898 ? Have you got those figures there?
Mr. PERSON. No, I have not; but these are figures that I have
Mr. KNIGHT. That is, to show an increase in receipts in New York?
Mr. PERSON. Yes, sir. I had no idea of making a dig at the Chicago
Mr. KNIGHT. Oh, I do not care about that. I do not belong to
Mr. PERSON. I have but recently learned of the proposition made by
a gentleman who has previously appeared before this committee, which,
in my opinion, is a fair and full solution of the unfortunate condition
you gentlemen have to consider, and if our friends on the opposite side
desire to meet us on a fair basis, it will, I think, be found in that sug-
gestion, which is, that the butter and oleomargarine interests agree
upon distinctive well-defined shades of yellow color, by which their
respective products can instantly and positively be identified. The
numerous shades of that color, some of which are very marked, cer-
tainly afford full opportunity to sharply define the limit of color which
either product shall not transgress or appropriate, and which will
afford the public every chance to exercise its judgment in deciding
which article they shall select as a lubricant for their bread or other
Believing in the honesty of many of those who would have the Grout
bill as a remedy for their supposed wrongs, and in the rights of the
oleomargarine makers and dealers, whose interests would be annihilated
by a law which forces them to bleach out whatever shade of yellow their
goods might develop from the basic materials used, it will, 1 think, appeal
to you, as fair-minded men, that the suggestion as to separate shades of
yellow should be accepted by both sides, and so end this unpleasant
and interminable warfare between two large and equally important
For this much to be desired culmination there are almost unlimited
opportunities, some of which may be found in the creamery associa-
tions on one side and the makers of oleomargarine on the other the
representatives of both of which could privately, or in public conven-
tion, arrange full details. I am sure that one half of the effort made by
the butter interests, if rightly directed toward a mutual understanding
and purpose to protect the right of the opposing side, would be
promptly and effectively aided by the butterine or oleomargarine
The ACTING CHAIRMAN. Now, I want to ask you a few questions.
Mr. PERSON. Certainly, Mr. Chairman. But do not ask me as a law-
yer. Ask me as a layman.
The ACTING CHAIRMAN. Yes, as a business man. It appears here
that the legislature of New Jersey has passed a law making it a
criminal offense to make or sell oleomargarine which is colored with
so-called anuotto, so as to make it resemble the color of butter.
Mr. PERSON. Yes, sir.
The ACTING CHAIRMAN. Now, you say that there has been a decision
of the supreme court of New Jersey which permits you, as a citizen of
that State, to sell oleomargarine in the State of New Jersey regardless
of its color ?
Mr. PERSON. No; I did not say that, Senator.
The ACTING CHAIRMAN. On the theory that the color arose from
the material out of which it was manufactured?
Mr. PERSON. Yes, sir.
The ACTING CHAIRMAN. Now, do you mean to say that without arti-
ficial coloring matter the oleomargarine manufacturers, by the use of
the natural ingredients that enter their product, can produce these
Mr. PERSON. Not these colors no. I simply say this, Senator:
That the oleomargaiine makers can, by a selection, at the proper time
of the year, of the cotton-seed and animal or oleo oils, pick out the rich-
est oils, which carry with them a color of their own. I think any gen-
tleman will bear me out in saying that cotton- seed oil has a color of its
own and so has oleo oil.
The ACTING CHAIRMAN. Can they produce, for example, the color
of June butter?
Mr. PERSON. No, sir; far from it.
The ACTING CHAIRMAN. Can you sell oleomargarine that is not of
Mr. PERSON. The June color?
The ACTING CHAIRMAN. Yes.
Mr. PERSON. Yes, sir. What is the June color?
The ACTING CHAIRMAN. Now, as I understand, the ordinary con-
stituents of oleomargarine produce a white product.
Mr. PERSON. No, sir; that is an error.
The ACTING CHAIRMAN. Then we have been misinformed here.
Mr. JELKE. You are mistaken in that.
Mr. PERSON. What do you mean ?
Senator HEITFELD. I do not believe anybody testified that it was a
pure white color.
Mr. PERSON. White is not a color.
Mr. JELKE. It is a sort of grayish white, I think.
The ACTING CHAIRMAN. On the order of the color of lard, for
Mr. JELKE. If the Senator will allow me, I will state that cotton- seed
oil has a sort of greenish tinge. You will notice that in those colors
there is a great variety of tint, and none of the 14 yellows that are there
look like butter colors. They have a sort of greenish tint.
The ACTING CHAIRMAN. They do not all of them look like yellows,
for that matter. I may be a little blind on color.
Mr. PERSON. Well, I maybe blind myself, sir.
Mr. JELKE. The mixture with lard andoleo oil (which has a pale straw
color) makes a combination of color that is not pleasing to the sight.
It is not a clear white, like butter.
The ACTING CHAIRMAN. Now, then, I understand from what has been
said by the present speaker that the manufacturers, without adding any
artificial coloring matter, but by selecting the materials properly, can
produce oleomargarine without that objectionable color.
Mr. JELKE. I have been told that they could.
The ACTING CHAIRMAN. Who is your manufacturer?
Mr. PERSON. Well, I do not know that I should answer that question
here, Senator. You are opening up a field that I am not prepared to
The ACTING CHAIRMAN. What I want to know is how the product
finds its way into the open market in the 32 States where it has been
prohibited by law.
Mr. PERSON. I think that question has been met by the answer given
you some time ago that if the laws are not in consonance with public
thought and feeling, and are not indorsed by the public, they will not
The ACTING CHAIRMAN. But you, as a merchant, do not stop to
inquire whether the laws of New Jersey are in consonance with public
thought and feeling before you proceed to violate them, do you ?
Mr. KNIGHT. Mr. Chairman, you will have him incriminating himself
The ACTING CHAIRMAN. I am simply interested to know about this
Mr. PERSON. Your remarks are rather leading, Senator.
The ACTING CHAIRMAN. I do not want to make my remarks offensive
at all. I find here, however, these statutes preventing this thing, and
yet you are a good merchant, proceeding to do a good business in the
State of New Jersey.
Mr. PERSON. We have the courage of our convictions.
Mr. MILLER. Mr. Chairman, allow me to say that Mr. Person is a
wholesale dealer. He sells goods in the original packages only. Is
that not so?
Mr. PERSON. That is right.
Mr. MILLER. We have had a number of opinions from the Supreme
Court, giving us the privilege of selling original packages, unbroken
packages, manufactured in other States.
Mr. PERSON. I have referred to the fact that we were handling
original packages there, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. MILLER. There is a decision in Minnesota and one in New Hani-
shire to that eifect.
The ACTING CHAIRMAN. But the supreme court of New Jersey seems
to have decided that that law is constitutional, even as applying to
interstate commerce that is to say, to articles shipped in from the
other States and sold in the original packages.
Mr. PERSON. That law has been upset by a more recent decision of
the United States Supreme Court, Senator.
Mr. KNIGHT. Oh, no.
Mr. SCHELL. Why, Mr. Chairman, on the color question I agree with
your view. I never saw butter that looked exactly like that particular
combination. But is the ordinary butter what might strictly be termed
yellow, after all? Is it not more of a golden color? Of course it is a
shade of yellow, but it is not
Mr. PERSON. I have not spoken of these as colors. I have spoken
of them as shades.
Senator HEITFELD. You can find butter here in the Center Market
that has a tint approaching that third deepest color that is, that would
be the color, but it is reddish. It is a reddish yellow, just the same.
It is the Elgin butter, I believe.
Mr. KNIGKET. Senator, I want to say that in the butter trade we
have made a great many efforts to reproduce the color of butter in
some way so that a standard could be printed, and we find it impos-
sible to print anything that looks like the real butter color. The color
of butter is on a grease, and it appears that no printing ink, on paper
or anything of that kind, will look like the actual butter color. We
have tried that and we have failed.
Senator HEITFELD. Then there are so many shades of color, even in
June and July; and different grasses make different colors. Take our
Western country, for instance. The blue grass gives color different
from that of butter from alfalfa. The color of butter from alfalfa, again,
is different from that of rye. In fact, the color of butter from rye is so
deep that it is rather objectionable.
Mr. KNIGHT. You are something of a butter man, Senator, I see.
Senator HEITFELD. Well, I have been in the dairy business all my
life; and I know all about it so far as the farm goes. We have even
wrapped it in all sorts of cloths when we could not get the butter cloth.
The ACTING CHAIRMAN. Now, is there anyone else desiring to be
heard this afternoon ?
Mr. SCHELL. Allow me to say further on the color matter that my
chemist advises me that there are over 700 different kinds of named
colors as a result of the coal-tar product, and that there are thousands
of other colors and shades which have not been named. The color
question, then, is one without limit, and if they will not define their
butter color, how are we to know what it is? They say we are not to
color oleomargarine in imitation of butter. How can we tell what the
color is that we are not to imitate? There should be some standard.
They say, "You are using our color," -but they do not give us any
Mr. ADAMS. Yellow is the standard.
Mr. SCHELL. What yellow ?
Mr. KNIGHT. Any shade of yellow.
Mr. SCHELL. Then white is another shade of butter. We can not
color our oleomargarine white, or we will be accused of imitating butter.
Mr. KNIGHT. No; we say yellow butter.
Mr. SCHELL. What shade of yellow?
Mr. KNIGHT. Any shade.
Mr. SCHELL. Any shade? There are over 700 different shades of
yellow, and we can not have any, but you are entitled to all?
Mr. KNIGHT. Oh, no.
Mr. JELKE. If you will allow me to say one word on the subject of
color, I will say that I have been told the production of a color for use
in silks and other dress goods means a fortune to a chemist, and that
some of them spent their lives, in Germany and France, studying to
produce a new and attractive shade. Very often we see the ladies
adopt a certain new shade that comes out. If the color is attractive
and new and pleases the eye, such a demand is immediately created
for it that its producer becomes rich.
Mr. KNIGHT. Mr. Jelke, may I ask a question at this point ? Do you
know whether there is any one color of silk to which the consumer is
so attracted that he refuses any other color?
Mr. JELKE. Well, yes. They will not take a color of silk, Mr.
Knight, that is displeasing to their sight if they can get what they
Mr. TILLINGHAST. The question which the chairman asked has not,
to my mind, been satisfactorily answered. Perhaps it can not be; but
I think I can assist in answering it to some degree. That question was
as to how colored oleomargarine can be sold in those States which have
the anticolor law without a violation of the statutes of those States.
For instance, Rhode Island borders on Massachusetts. The factories
in Rhode Island take their orders from the consumers in Massachusetts
in such a way that the sale takes place in Ehode Island, where it is
perfectly lawful. In that way the goods enter Massachusetts in a way
which is not in violation or even in evasion of the Massachusetts
The AciiNG CHAIRMAN. How does the Massachusetts merchant
handle the situation after he gets over there?
Mr. TILLINGHAST. I do not say that the Massachusetts dealer can
sell his product to his consumers without a violation of the law, sir.
What I mean is we sell them directly to the consumer. Of course, to
carry that argument out, if a person in Massachusetts came over the
line of Rhode Island, bought a package of oleomargarine, and took it
home, that would be no violation of the law of Massachusetts; and that
is precisely the theory upon which the whole business is conducted, in
so far as it applies to those places which are near enough to Rhode
Island to supply the Massachusetts customers. In other words, in
Massachusetts the sale takes place in the State where it is lawful that
it should take place, and there is no violation or even evasion of the
Mr. KNIGHT. That is just exactly what we are after.
STATEMENT OF J. J. CULBERTSON, OF DALLAS, TEX.
Mr. CULBERTSON. Mr. Chairman, as secretary and treasurer of the
Continental Cotton Oil Company of New York, and also as represent-
ing a number of cotton mills in the Southern States, I want to bring
before you some facts on this question that are intimately associated
with our industry.