Elgin Milk Condensing Company
The marker is located in Elgin, on the east side of the Fox River, between Kimble Street Bridge and East Highland Street Bridge, where North Street and North Grove Avenue meet.
The Elgin Heritage Commission and the Illinois State Historical Society
Gail Borden, pioneer in the food preservative industry, established a milk condensing plant on this site in 1865. His discovery incorporated a process by which water was evaporated from milk, and sugar added as a preservative. This process, patented in 1856, increased the availability and variety in dairy products, allowing the populace a sanitary and nourishing alternative to fresh milk. The stringent procedures he employed inspired high standards, revolutionizing the dairy industry by 1881. This company was the largest of its kind and a major factor in determining Elgin's reputation as a dairy center. Production ceased in 1918 due to the rising cost of milk. Elgin's Gail Borden Library, located nearby, is named in his honor.
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