Borden, Gail, 1801-1874

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Gail Borden, Jr. (1801-1874) was a surveyor, inventor, newspaperman, businessman and agriculturalist. He was born in Norwich, New York, and moved to Texas in 1829. Borden was a surveyor for Austin's Colony and a founder of the "Telegraph and Texas Register", but is most famous as an inventor; he patented the first process for condensing milk. The Borden Milk Company bears his name.

From the description of Borden, J. Gail, papers, 1830-1937. (University of Texas Libraries). WorldCat record id: 71016435

Inventor of condensed milk; founder of the Borden Company.

From the description of Gail Borden papers, 1856-1984. (Cornell University Library). WorldCat record id: 64744048

A public figure who made numerous contributions to the development of the Republic of Texas, Gail Borden, Jr. eventually became nationally prominent as an inventor and entrepreneur.

Born in New York in 1801, Borden moved to Kentucky and then to Indiana with his family before relocating on his own to Mississippi, where he worked as a teacher and surveyor. In 1829, Borden joined his father and younger brothers in Texas, settling in Stephen F. Austin’s colony in what would become Fort Bend County. He relocated his family to San Felipe de Austin and worked as a surveyor for Austin, soon becoming involved in public life and participating in the Convention of 1833, held at San Felipe. In 1835, with his brother Thomas and Joseph Baker, Borden founded a newspaper, the Telegraph and Texas Register, its first issue coinciding with the beginnings of the Texas Revolution. After the war, the paper was published in Harrisburg, Columbia, and Houston before Borden sold his interest in 1837. He held public positions in the new Republic of Texas government, including collector at the port of Galveston, and worked as an agent of the Galveston City Company, selling lots on the island.

Borden also turned his attention towards inventing, experimenting with mechanical devices and food preservation. One of his early large-scale projects was the meat biscuit, a dried beef and flour mixture intended for use as preserved food capable of long-term storage. He spent several years promoting the product and moved to New York to further his efforts, but eventually suffered heavy monetary losses. Borden’s lasting wealth and fame came through his perfection of a process to condense milk, a product that enjoyed great success beginning in the late 1850s after some early setbacks. Several factories were established and Borden branched into other food processing businesses, including a meat-packing plant in Texas, where he spent part of his time.

Borden was married three times and had seven children. He died in Texas in 1874.

References

Frantz, Joe B. "Gail Borden, Jr." Handbook of Texas Online . http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fbo24 .

From the guide to the Gail Borden Papers Col 874., 1830-1956 (bulk 1830-1860), (Daughters of the Republic of Texas Library at the Alamo, San Antonio, Texas)

Gail Borden, Jr. (1801-1874) prepared the first topographical map of Texas, founded and published the Telegraph and Texas Register, and invented condensed milk in 1856. The next year he founded the Gail Borden, Jr., and Company, which later became Borden, Inc., and operated until 2001.

Resource: Frantz, Joe B. Borden, Gail, Jr. Handbook of Texas Online, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/BB/fbo24.html (accessed December 3, 2008).

From the guide to the J. Gail Borden, Jr. Papers 62-007; 66-032. 71016435., 1830-1910, 1932-1937, (Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin)

Gail Borden, Jr. moved to Texas in 1829 and worked as a surveyor, newspaper publisher, land agent, public official and inventor.

He won lasting wealth and renown in the 1850s with his successful process for condensing milk.

From the description of Gail Borden papers [manuscript], 1830-1956. (Daughters of the Republic of Texas Library). WorldCat record id: 310574269

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn Albert Curtis Papers Col 1275., 1729-1967 Daughters of the Republic of Texas Library at the Alamo, San Antonio, Texas
creatorOf J. Gail Borden, Jr. Papers 62-007; 66-032. 71016435., 1830-1910, 1932-1937 Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin .
referencedIn Streeter, Thomas W(Thomas Winthrop), 1883-1965,. Thomas W. Streeter collection of Texas manuscripts, 1787-1864. Yale University, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
referencedIn Holbrook, Ruth Fisher. [Culinary ephemera : dairy]. Box 233. University of Michigan, William Clements Library
creatorOf Gail Borden Papers Col 874., 1830-1956 (bulk 1830-1860) Daughters of the Republic of Texas Library at the Alamo, San Antonio, Texas
referencedIn Chambers, Thomas William Papers, 1824-1896 Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin .
referencedIn Austin, Stephen F. (Stephen Fuller), 1793-1836. Austin papers, 1676-1889. University of Texas Libraries, University of Texas Libraries
referencedIn Austin Papers, 1676, 1765-1889 Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin .
creatorOf Borden, Gail, 1801-1874. Gail Borden papers, 1856-1984. Cornell University Library
referencedIn Curtis, Albert, b. 1897. Albert Curtis papers, 1729-1967. Daughters of the Republic of Texas Library
referencedIn Curtis, Albert, b. 1897. Albert Curtis papers, 1729-1967. Daughters of the Republic of Texas Library
referencedIn Thomas W. Streeter collection of Texas manuscripts, 1787-1864 Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
creatorOf Borden, Gail, 1801-1874. Borden, J. Gail, papers, 1830-1937. University of Texas Libraries, University of Texas Libraries
creatorOf Borden, Gail, 1801-1874. Gail Borden papers [manuscript], 1830-1956. Daughters of the Republic of Texas Library
referencedIn Smith, Ashbel, 1805-1886. Smith, Ashbel, papers, 1823-1926. University of Texas Libraries, University of Texas Libraries
creatorOf Herschel Family. Papers, 1721-1951, (bulk 1810-1871). Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center
referencedIn Moses Austin Bryan papers MC060. 49802680., 1814-1930, (Bulk: 1836-1889) Albert and Ethel Herzstein Library,
referencedIn Chambers, Thomas William. Chambers, Thomas William, Papers, 1824-1896 University of Texas Libraries, University of Texas Libraries
creatorOf San Felipe (Tex.). Ayuntamiento. Land title : sold to Gail and Paschal P. Borden, 1835 March 27. University of Texas at Arlington, Central Library
referencedIn Ballinger (William Pitt) Papers BALLINGER, WILLIAM PITT., 1815-1909 Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin .
creatorOf Codman, Ogden. Anderson and Price Memorial Library, Ormond, Fla. [graphic] / Ogden Codman Architect, 340 Madison Ave., N.Y.C. Columbia University in the City of New York, Columbia University Libraries
referencedIn Ballinger, William Pitt, 1825-1888. Ballinger, William Pitt, papers, 1815-1909. University of Texas Libraries, University of Texas Libraries
referencedIn Austin, Henry, 1782-1852. Austin, Henry, papers, 1794-1853. University of Texas Libraries, University of Texas Libraries
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Austin, Henry, 1782-1852. person
associatedWith Austin, Moses and Austin, Stephen F. person
associatedWith Austin, Stephen F. (Stephen Fuller), 1793-1836 person
associatedWith Ballinger, William Pitt, 1825-1888 person
associatedWith Borden Company. corporateBody
associatedWith Borden, John G. person
associatedWith Borden, John G. person
associatedWith Bryan, Moses Austin, 1817-1895 person
associatedWith Chambers, Thomas William person
associatedWith Chambers, Thomas William person
associatedWith Codman, Ogden. person
associatedWith Curtis, Albert, 1897-1969 person
associatedWith Curtis, Albert, b. 1897. person
associatedWith Herschel Family. family
associatedWith Johnson, Francis White, 1799-1884 person
associatedWith McKinney, Thomas Freeman, 1801-1873 person
associatedWith Rusk, Thomas J. (Thomas Jefferson), 1803-1857 person
associatedWith San Felipe (Tex.). Ayuntamiento. corporateBody
associatedWith Smith, Ashbel, 1805-1886 person
associatedWith Streeter, Thomas W(Thomas Winthrop), 1883-1965, person
associatedWith Telegraph and Texas Register (San Felipe, Tex.) corporateBody
associatedWith Williams, Samuel May, 1795-1858 person
Place Name Admin Code Country
Galveston (Tex.)
Houston (Tex.)
Wallkill (N.Y.)
Austin County (Tex.)
Texas
Houston (Tex.)
Austin County (Tex.)
Wallkill (N.Y.)
Galveston (Tex.)
Early statehood, 1846-1861
San Felipe (Tex.)
Texas
San Felipe (Tex.)
Subject
Milk yield
Inventors--Texas
San Jacinto, Battle of, Tex., 1836
Land titles--Registration and transfer--Texas
Land titles--Registration and transfer
Condensed milk
Real property--Texas
Inventors
Dairy processing
Real property
Condensed milk--History
Inventions--1850-1890
Occupation
Function

Person

Birth 1801-11-09

Death 1874-01-11

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