February 7, 2007


And the man behind the brand is...
Joseph Campbell

In 1860 Abraham Anderson opened a small canning factory in Camden, New Jersey. Across the river in Philadelphia Joseph Campbell was a produce merchant who wanted to get into the processing end of the business. In 1869 Campbell and Anderson became partners, forming Anderson & Campbell. The two men canned vegetables, minced meat, jams, jellies and a variety of soups.

In 1876 Campbell bought out the founder and changed the company name to Joseph Campbell Preserve Company. A few years later Campbell invited his son-in-law and nephew into the canning business. His son-in-law brought along a friend named Arthur Dorrance who provided the firm with a needed infusion of cash. The company name was changed to the Joseph Campbell Preserving Company.

By 1896 the cannery was prospering and a large factory was built in Camden to expand the product line. Campbell’s company now offered prepared meats, sauces, canned fruit, ketchup and plum pudding. In 1899 John Dorrance, Arthur’s nephew, developed a revolutionary way of canning condensed soup. The innovation enabled Campbell’s to ship and sell soup at a third of the cost of its competitors, effectively eliminating them. As soup varieties increased the firm canned less and less produce.

A year later Joseph Campbell died. In 1915 John Dorrance purchased total control of the company, ending any Campbell family involvement in the food processing giant.

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