garine, but I do not want you to be deceived and pay 10 cents a pound
too much. The poor people are being robbed by this deception to the
extent of 10 cents a pound; and you and I, who have to take butter
from second or third hands in this city, are deceived regularly. If you
will send ine samples of the butter you are eating between now and
spring I will tell you the percentage of it that is oleomargarine. I will
have it analyzed. In fact, we have been analyzing it for members of
Congress who have sent samples to us.
Senator MONEY. I will send you some over.
Secretary WILSON. I sent a reply yesterday to Congressman Dahle,
who had sent us a sample.
Senator HEITFELD. You spoke about paying 10 cents a pound too
much. What price ought it to sell at?
Secretary WILSON. I suppose fats vary in value on the markets the
same as butter does, -but you will always find that the fats of commerce
are cheaper than the fats of the cow.
Senator DOLLIVER. A prospectus of the great butterine corporation
which is about to put up a plant here, with a capital of a million dollars,
as an inducement to an investment, states that the aggregate value of
the materials and manufacture of a pound of oleomargarine is a frac-
tion more than 11 cents.
Senator HEITFELD. It sells here on the market for 18 cents per
Senator MONEY. We have here an advertisement from a grocer in
Cincinnati, I believe, who advertises three grades of oleomargarine,
and my recollection is that the prices were 11J, 12J, and 13 cents.
Then he advertises his butter at about 25 cents. He may be an excep-
tional trader, and I think honest traders are generally exceptional.
Secretary WILSON. A gentleman has handed me a table of prices
here showing that it costs five and a fraction cents a pound. I do not
know how that is.
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Secretary, in regard to this process butter,
would not the self-interest of the farmer gradually tend to cure that
evil the manufacture of poor butter, rancid butter I
Secretary WILSON. The education at agricultural colleges is doing
that. Process butter, or renovated butter, as we understand it, is the
butter picked up through the grocery stores throughout the country
where they have no creameries and shipped to central points.
The CHAIRMAN. Where they have no proper training and do not know
how to make good butter?
Secretary WILSON. Exactly. It is shipped by these people to the
markets and sold for what they can get; and generally the merchant
handles it without a profit, because he sells goods by it.
The CHAIRMAN. So that self-interest would tend to
Secretary WILSON. Yes. They take a mass of this stuff with as
many colors as Jacob's coat and reduce it to one color, and they use
chemicals. I have known lime to be used for that purpose. That kind
of butter gets a bacteria, the bacteria of decomposition, and they have
to use strong chemicals in order to destroy and kill that bacteria. Then
they put the thing on the market, and if we happen to eat it we have
to take chances on those chemicals.
The CHAIRMAN. I want to ask one more question in that connec-
tion. On account of self-interest that is what governs the human race
usually would not the tendency be in the manufacture of oleomarga-
rine more and more to use cheaper and improper materials as compe-
tition grew greater?
Secretary WILSON. Oh, there is no limit. They will take the cheap-
est materials, no matter where they find them. Without any question
self-interest will require them to do that.
Senator ALLEN. The country groceryman all over the United States
receives butter from his customers in exchange for goods'?
Secretary WILSON. Yes.
Senator ALLEN. Very much of which is not salable even in the county
where it is manufactured?
Secretary WILSON. Yes, sir.
Senator ALLEN. It is put into barrels and kept sometimes for weeks.
Where is that butter shipped ?
Secretary WILSON. That butter is shipped to centers, where it is
Senator ALLEN. And that goes in process butter?
Secretary WILSON. That is the foundation of process butter; but in
our country, in the West, where the creameries are extended, it is not
known any more. There are whole counties in your State and mine
where no such butter originates at all, because they sell the milk to the
creamery, and it makes fine Elgin butter.
Senator ALLEN. Almost every little town has some butter dealer,
and lie has a little machine by which he takes much of this butter and
renovates it, as he calls it. This is true in little towns of 800 or 1,000
people. What kind of butter is that, and where does it go?
Secretary WILSON. The best of ita great deal of it is good but-
ter. The best of it is put on the market as second or third grade butter.
The very poorest of it, that is beginning to become rancid, is shipped
to centers where they manufacture the process article.
Senator ALLEN. In these little towns and the country surrounding
them there is about one good butter maker out of a dozen.
Secretary WILSON. That is right.
Senator ALLEN. That good butter is always sold at home sold to
Senator MONEY. At a big price?
Senator ALLEN. At a big price. For instance, in my State, where
butter in June is only 8 or 9 cents a pound, I pay 20 cents a pound for
it the year round.
Secretary WILSON. Well, factories are established in your State, and
they make a tine Elgin brand, using that name as representative, and
they get just what it is worth in Elgin, minus the transportation.
Senator ALLEN. The thing I wanted to call your attention to particu-
larly was this: This fine-grade country butter made by the farmer's
wife or daughter is all consumed in the little villages where it is made.
The great bulk of butter that is shipped out of these little villages
either goes through a process of renovation at home I have seen them
work it myself; small, cheap concerns or else they are put m barrels
and shipped somewhere else.
Secretary WILSON. That is correct.
Senator ALLEN. What I want to know is, what becomes of that
Secretary WILSON. Oh, that is made into renovated butter. Con-
gress, in its wisdom, in 1862 provided for experimental agricultural
colleges, and in 1887 provided for experiment stations. There is an
admirable one started in your State, and there is one in my State which
is very near the forefront of anything of its kind in the world. There
they train from 100 to 200 young men every winter to make first-rate
butter, so that the training of people is overcoming the renovating
The CHAIRMAN. In our State years ago the country merchants took
in a large amount of butter, more than his village trade would take.
He then sent the best of it to commission merchants in Boston and
New York to be sold. The cracker manufacturers and others would
pick up the cheapest of it and dump it into a barrel and treat it in some
way, 1 suppose.
Secretary WILSON. Yes.
The CHAIRMAN. Now, that is almost a thing of the past. There is
no store that I know of that takes in butter enough for its own cus-
tomers. It is very rare that they take any of a farmer. They have to
buy good butter of a creamery or of first-class dairies.
Secretary WILSON. Yes.
The CHAIRMAN. That change has taken place. Dairying has become
profitable there, and the only profit is in making a nice article.
Secretary WILSON. The education of the people along these lines will
do away very soon with the renovated feature of butter. The great
danger does not come from that. It comes from the imitation of the
genuine cows' butter by coloring, so as to deceive the consumer.
Mr. SPRINGER. Will you allow me to ask you a question, Mr. Secre-
Secretary WILSON. Surely.
Mr. SPRINGER. You stated, I believe, that the consumption of butter
in the United States amounted to about 83 pounds per capita. Was
that your statement?
Secretary WILSON. No ; I think not.
Mr. SPRINGER. What was the statement you made ?
Secretary WILSON. The eighty-three you have in mind was 83,000,000
pounds of oleomargarine. My statement was 18J pounds per capita, if
I remember correctly.
Senator MONEY. Yes; 18J pounds of butter.
Mr. SPRINGER. How many pounds of butter were consumed last year
in the United States? Was that stated by you to-day?
Secretary WILSON. No; I dealt with oleomargarine, but if you will
multiply 18 J by 76,000,000 you will get it very closely.
Mr. SPRINGER. You stated, however, that the consumption of oleo-
margarine amounted to but a little over 1 pound per capita.
Secretary WILSON. A little over 1 pound per capita in the United
Mr. SPRINGER. Then you did state what the consumption of butter
was, and it seemed to me it was 80 pounds per capita.
Secretary WILSON. Eighteen and a half pounds.
Mr. SPRINGER. If the consumption of oleomargarine is only 4 per
cent of the consumption of butter, do you think that the competition
up to this time has been such as to enter into all of these hotels and
that we are all eating more oleomargarine than butter.
Secretary WILSON. Without any question, all over this District oi
Columbia. I have looked into it with the utmost care. I have had
my experts go and inquire, and there is not the least doubt, Judge, bat
that you and I are eating it right along all the time when we buy here.
Mr. SPRINGER. What has become of the butter that is made, then?
Secretary WILSON. That is used also.
Senator HEITFELD. Is not one reason we are consuming so much
oleomargarine in this country because we get such a poor lot of butter
here ? I have been here four years, and I have not yet been successful
in finding a dealer who keeps good butter all the time.
Secretary WILSON. No, Senator; that is not the reason. The reason
is there is such a great profit in oleomargarine.
Senator HEITFELD. A Senator told me the other day that his wife
went to the, market and deceived him with oleomargarine. He said it
was the best butter that has been on his table. He had tried for three
years to get the best butter, and he said now he was against oleomar-
garine because he did not want to get deceived any longer.
Secretary WILSON. This was a bad place to try that experiment. I
get my butter direct from the creamery, and I will furnish you a sam-
ple, at any time, of genuine butter.
Senator MONEY. You say the best butter has a generic name Elgin
Secretary WILSON. Yes, sir; we call fine creamery butter Elgin
Senator MONEY. Is it true or not because it has been stated to me
that it was true that these fine Elgin creameries that make fine butter
are very great consumers of oleomargarine?
Secretary WILSON. No; I think not.
Senator MONEY. I have been told so by a gentleman here who said
he was agent for Armour & Co., and that his largest customer was one
of the most celebrated creameries at Elgin, 111.
Secretary WILSON. Elgin butter is made all over the country. There
may be one scoundrel living at Elgin.
Senator MONEY. I suppose there might be.
Mr. TILLINGHAST. I desire to ask you, Mr. Secretary, if I may, if
there is not quite a large amount of the best creamery butter that does
tin ally become rancid and poor?
Secretary WILSON. If you do not take care of butter it will become
Mr. TILLINGHAST. I am asking you if it is not a fact that a large
part of it does become in that condition?
Secretary WILSON. Oh, no.
Mr. TILLINGHAST. So that there will always be quite a quantity of
butter to be renovated ?
Secretary WILSON. No, sir. Fine butters are handled so as to be
kept in cold condition to prevent the development of bacteria until they
are sold. Now, let me illustrate that point. If you make butter this
morning and want it consumed this evening, you press a very little
buttermilk out, so as to leave the casein there in order to develop bac-
teria rapidly and bring up your flavor at once. If you are going to ship
it, so that it will not be consumed for a week, you must work it over
and get nearly all the buttermilk and casein out, because the casein is
the element in which the bacteria multiplies. If you send it from here
to Great Britain, you must work it twice over; and the habit in old
times with the Dutch women when they wanted to furnish butter for
the Dutch navy was to work it twelve times. They worked in those
days with their hands, and when they had worked it twelve times they
had all the casein washed out. Then they put it into a keg, put it in
the hold of a Dutch man-of-war, and it crossed the Tropics twice and
came back sweet, because all the opportunity for multiplying bacteria
had been taken out of that butter. That was the old way, and butter
is worked now so as to suit the times intervening when it will be
Mr. TiLLiNGrHAST. Then, you say by the improved methods of
handling butter in time the renovated butter will go out of existence?
Secretary WILSON. I think so. We had a letter yesterday from the
Iowa Agricultural College in which they told me they had four stu-
dents there in the short course. Every year they turn out hundreds of
educated dairymen. Out in Nebraska there is a fine school doing that
very work ; and the time will come when you will not find a bit of
renovated butter in Iowa or Nebraska; and in Vermont and many other
dairy States I do not believe there is any now.
Mr. SPRINGER. I see that in your statement, Mr. Secretary, you say
the domestic consumption of oleomargarine is in excess of 1 pound per
capita as against the estimated consumption of 18 J pounds of butter.
1 was mistaken about the amount. It is 18 pounds. Is 1 pound in
18 a serious competition?
Secretary WILSON. Very serious.
Senator DOLLIVER. I received a telegram from a cattle dealer in
Iowa stating that this bill was likely to very greatly damage the value
of beef cattle.
Secretary WILSON. Yes j he does not know what he is talking about,
that same cattle dealer.
Senator DOLLIVER. I would like a little fuller statement from you as
to the relation of the cattle industry and the dairy farm.
Secretary WILSON. Well, take Iowa, where I am personally
acquainted. We have been getting our feeders from beyond the Mis-
souri and they are getting scarcer and scarcer, and it is becoming evi-
dent that we must produce the feeders on our own grounds. We can
not keep a cow to raise a calf only in the Mississippi Valley. We must
milk our cow to make a profit. The great feeder in Iowa will become
a thing of the past. It has not existed for centuries in European
countries. The feeding steer in European countries is raised on the
farm and finished on the farm, and that will be the^case in Iowa. We
Western farmers like to farm on horseback, and the man who feeds
steers likes to buy them and buy corn to feed them, or feed them his
own corn; but the day is coming when he can not buy them, because
the dairy farmer will find it profitable to raise his own calves and finish
his own calves on his own farm with his own products.
Senator DOLLIVER. Then, you hold that the destruction or fatal
injury of the dairy farm would destroy the whole cattle business?
Secretary WILSON. Yes ; for this reason. I have discussed the South-
ern question here. I am very much interested in those people. I go
down there often, and find them a lovable people; but I find they
have grown crops and oxidized the humus out of their soil until in
many cases they do not get more than a quarter of a bale of cotton to
the acre. If it had not been for the cotton crop of the great State of
Texas, the world would have been suffering for cotton now. There is no
way by which they can ever bring the soil back to full fertility except by
putting the humus back, and that will be done by letting the cow and
her calf graze. What little interest they have now in selling a little
bit of cotton-seed oil is infinitesimal compared with the great benefit
that will come to them from correct farming, and a well-organized farm
means the dairy cow present every time.
Senator MONEY. You are not going to have it with the increase in
Secretary WILSON. Let me tell you something on that point. There
is a man who lives out here about 25 miles in Maryland, named Boyd.
He keeps 200 or 300 cows, if I remember correctly, and he sends in
excellent milk into this city. He has colored people to milk them. I
do not say that every colored man or colored woman is fit to milk a
cow. The dairy cow should be treated as delicately as you would treat
a fine lady when you take her out to dinner. The negroes will not all
do that, but some of them will, and you can make a success in the
South of the dairy with colored people for milkers.
Mr. WADS WORTH. They have never been made a success, have they,
Secretary WILSON. It has. I have given you one case where a man
has 200 o/300 cows and milks them with colored people. He sends
the milk into this city.
Mr. MILLER. Is it not a fact that the beef qattle of the West do not
go in the dairy herds, and is it not a fact that the large herds of the
West are inbred Herefords, which are not dairy cows ?
Secretary WILSON. Oh, bless your soul, no.
Mr. MILLER. Is it not a fact that all Western herds are headed by
Secretary WILSON. No; not exclusively. You ask Senator Harris,
who is a Kansas stockman, and he will tell you that men who have
been using the Hereford blood find that they have gotten them too
Mr. MILLER. My dear sir, the Hereford are large cattle ; that is why
they have them. Mr. Armour, of Kansas City, owns the largest Here-
fore herd in the world, and he sells them on the Western ranges.
Secretary WILSON. How many does he sell?
Mr. MILLER. Generally from 40,000 to 50,000 four times a year.
Secretary WILSON. How many head does he own!
Mr. MILLER. I don't know.
Secretary WILSON. I guess you will find that others own as large
Mr. MILLER. He has the reputation of owning the largest herd in
the West. He holds a sale three or four times a year at Kansas City,
and all these bulls go to the Western herds.
Secretary WILSON. If you will examine the reports of the experi-
ment station, you will find my report on that subject. They make excel-
lent feeders, but the difficulty with them is they are not good milkers.
They can not be used in the dairy. The man who originated them is
on record as saying that he could have made good dairy cattle of them
if he had turned his attention that way, but he did not. He turned
his attention to beef making, and he repressed the tendency to give
milk. The result is that they can be used for beef cattle, but the
demand to-day is for cattle that will give milk as well as raise calves,
and the people in the West who are grazing on the free commons could
not afford to keep a cow for the calf if they had to pay rent for those
Senator ALLEN. I think this gentleman is mistaken, Secretary. The
four beef producing herds are the Shorthorn, Hereford, the Angus
Borden, and the Galloway.
Secretary WILSON. That is right.
Senator ALLEN. You can not sell anything else for beef producing.
Secretary WILSON. That is right; but you can develop milk giving
in any of those breeds if you feed for milk. The Shorthorn is a famous
milker. You can make the Angus or the Galway or the Hereford milch
cattle if you will feed for milk and milk them. The difficulty has been
with the Herefords that they have been bred away from milk. That is
where the trouble is. Are there any other questions, gentlemen?
Senator DOLLIVER. One more question, Mr. Secretary. Is it possible
to produce this-oleomargarine, according to your scientific report, of the
butter color, without coloring it artificially f
Secretary WILSON. Oh, no. You can get the dairy cow's butter yel-
low, if you feed right; but the chemist can not put in any other color
without using the coal-tar dyes.
Senator MONEY. If you put in enough cotton-seed oil, you can give
it a good color, and that is the best thing that goes into it, anyway.
Secretary WILSON. I think there is only a very light shade of yellow
in the fine cotton -seed oil.
Senator MONEY. They do refine it, and we eat it on our table every
Secretary WILSON. There is no possible direction in which the South
can renovate its worn-out lauds so fast as to feed that cotton seed to
stock. It is the finest feed on earth.
Senator MONEY. I know that. I am a farmer. I raise cotton.
Secretary WILSON. And you can not do it without the dairy cow.
Senator MONEY. I raise cows, too.
Secretary WILSON. The dairy cow is the only instrumentality. You
can not do it by commercial fertilizers, because it will not put the humus
in the soil.
Senator MONEY. You are right about that.
Senator DOLLIVBR. We had a merchant here from New Jersey, where
the law forbids the sale of colored oleomargarine, who stated that he
obtained his oleomargarine under special order from the manufacturer
with the butter color the yellow color produced, not by artificial
coloring, but by a careful and judicious collection of the ingredients
entering into the manufacture of the article.
Secretary WILSON. I am not familiar with any process of that kind.
That may be. We can not limit the capacity of a chemist, but I do not
want the chemist to produce an article that will cost me 10 cents more a
pound than it is worth, without coloring it.
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Secretary, oleomargarine is manufactured and
sold abroad, is it not?
Secretary WILSON. Oh, yes; my paper shows that.
The CHAIRMAN. Yes; I noticed it. Is it colored there?
Secretary WILSON. Oh, no ; we are the only people on earth who do
not take care of what our people consume and what they eat, and the
purity of our food.
The CHAIRMAN. It has a sale there for what it is?
Secretary WILSON. Yes; it is a legitimate business, if they do not
deceive somebody entirely so.
Mr. MILLER. Mr. Chairman, we are exporters of butterine and we
color every pound we send out. In some of the West Indies we color
Secretary WILSON. Have they laws down in the West Indies on
Mr. MILLER. Some of the countries have laws, yes, sir.
Secretary WILSON. I presume you do not sell oleomargarine to Great
Britain and color it, do you ?
Mr. MILLER. We have no export trade to Great Britain, but that is
because they manufacture their own product.
Secretary WILSON. Do you ship oleomargarine to foreign countries?
Mr. MILLER. Yes, sir.
Secretary WILSON. Where do you send it?
Mr. MILLER. We send it to a number of countries. We do not send
it to Great Britain and some other countries. The little country of
Holland has 19 factories as against 27 in the United States, and it is
not bigger than the State of Missouri.
Mr. CHAIRMAN. And yet they sell it as white, do they?
Mr. MILLER. No, sir ; they sell it colored.
Secretary WILSON. You are only telling what Armour & Co. do; but
the United States does ship butter to foreign countries.
Mr. MILLER. We ship oleomargarine; we do not ship butter.
Secretary WILSON. You do not ship it to any foreign country where
they have got laws and sell it for butter.
Mr. MILLER. We do not sell it for butter at all. We sell it for oleo-
margarine in this country and in other countries.
Secretary WILSON. But the people down in these countries where
you send it do not happen to have any laws, and if they did have laws
we know the character of people they are down there.
Mr. TILLINGHAST. Do I understand the Secretary to say that in Hol-
land they do not color the oleomargarine?
Secretary WILSON. You understood him to say that.
Mr. TILLINGHAST. I ask if the Secretary says that.
Secretary WILSON. No; you did not understand me to say that.
Mr. TILLINGHAST. How did I understand you?
Secretary WILSON. That is a fact 1 am not possessed of. The gentle-
man representing Armour & Co. made a remark along that line.
Mr. WADSWORTH. But the Secretary did assert that no oleomarga-
rine abroad was colored. He did not touch Holland or any one coun-
try, but he said that, and I thought it was a mistake when he uttered it.
Secretary WILSON. I may have made that too broad, but I mean the
European countries. I will modify that statement. They may send it
to the West Indies, down among those colored people.
The CHAIRMAN. I meant Europe. I did not say so, but I meant
Secretary WILSON. That is what I meant. Oh, no, you can not sell
coloied oleomargarine there and sell it for butter.
Mr. WADSWORTH. No, but you can sell it for what it is.