facts about the invention
of JELL-O by Pearl B. Wait in 1897.
|Peter Cooper, inventor of
the famous locomotive "Tom Thumb" and patron of the arts and sciences, obtained
the first patent for a gelatin dessert in i845. Gelatin itself, however, was discovered
long before then. Historys first reference to it is in i682, when a Frenchman named
Denis Papin recorded his research on the subject. His experiments resulted in a method of
removing the glutinous material from animal bones by boiling. It has no taste, no odor,
and, when combined with liquid, no color, but it is pure protein. The gourmet-minded
French like their foods en gelee-and their word for it is gelatine. The preferred spelling
is without that final e, whether youre referring to flavored or unflavored gelata.
Peter Cooper did nothing about his patent for a gelatin dessert, and neither did anyone
else for fifty years.
In 1897 Pearl B. Wait was a
cough syrup manufacturer in Le-Roy, New York, whose business was not going very well. So
he decided to give up the cough syrup business and branch out into something new. He
picked the food industry. People eat all the time, he reasoned, while they take medicine
only when they are sick.
||For many years food manufacturers had
experimented with gelatin, which is made from animal bones, but no one had been able to
come up with a gelatin that was appealing. Gelatin looked bad, and it didn't taste very
good, either. So Mr. Wait went to work. His answer was to add fruit syrup to gelatin. He
named his new product "Jello."
The new business had no competition, but, unfortunately, not enough
people wanted to try Jello. Wait sold the business to Orator Francis
Woodward, a neighbor, for $450. Later when Woodward tried to sell the
Jell-O business, reportedly for only $35. And no one was interested in
About 1900 a number of cooking experts
discovered Jell-O and decided it was just the thing for an elegant meal.
That changed everything. Jell-O began to appear at banquets and fancy
dinners. In 1902, O. F. Woodward launches the advertising campaign,
"America's most favorite Dessert" for JELL-O gelatin. Today, Jell-o is the largest selling prepared
dessert and is known
TO LEARN MORE
History of Snacks and
from The Great Idea Finder
ON THE BOOKSHELF:
The Kid Who
Invented the Popsicle: And Other Surprising Stories About Inventions
by Don L. Wulffson / Paperback - 128 pages (1999)
Brief factual stories about how various familiar things were invented, many by accident.
Why Didn't I Think of That?:
Origins of Ingenious Inventions We Couldn't Live Without
by Allyn Freeman, Bob Golden (Contributor) /
Paperback - 224 pages (1997) / John Wiley & Sons
Inventions chronicles the odd origins of famous products,
explores how these inventions changed our lives, and reveals the business side of their
production and distribution.
by Carolyn Wyman / Paperback: 144 pages / Harvest Books, 1 Ed edition (October 2001)
Chock full of history, lore and ephemera as well as recipes for main courses and desserts,
ideas for crafts, and just plain silly stuff, this little volume delivers.
The Magic of
Paperback: 128 pages / Sterling Publications (December 2001)
It jiggles, it wiggles, and you have loved how it tastes since you were little--now
prepare JELL-O(r) in all kinds of luscious desserts and tempting snacks. Contains 100 new
and favorits Jell-o recipes.
Why Didn't I Think of That (This title is out of print.)
by Webb Garrison / Hardcover - 120 pages (1977)
/ Prentice Hall / ISBN: 39586032
ON THE WEB:
Official JELL-O Site
Kraft Foods celebrates with the cool history of JELL-O. Lots of
COOKIES at this site.
There's Always Room for Jell-O.
Dedicated to remembering the chemical experimentation of Peter Cooper, the founder of the
Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art .
Brief Jell-o history and lots of Jell-o recipes from Nancy's Kitchen.
History and Mystery of Jell-O
Article By Judy Lowe for the Christian Science Monitor.
DID YOU KNOW:
- In Cecil B. DeMille's 1923 silent film "The Ten
Commandments," Jell-O was used to create the effect of keeping the Red Sea parted as
the Israelites fled Egypt.
- In "The Wizard of Oz," the horse that changed colors
was actually six horses sponged down with Jell-O.
- The first four Jell-O flavors were orange, lemon, strawberry,
and raspberry. Lime was introduced in 1930
- More than 1,134,239 packages of Jell-O gelatin are purchased
or eaten every day.
- Today, if placed end to end, the 413,997,403 million packages
of Jell-O gelatin dessert produced in a year would stretch three-fifths of the way around
the globe with plenty of room to spare.
- Jell-O is a brand recognized by 99% of Americans and used
regularly in 72% of our homes.
is a registered trademarks of Kraft Foods, Inc.
Sources in BOLD Type
page revised January, 2005.
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The invention of the Internet,
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book, is the perfect desktop reference for both the science novice and the
technologically advanced reader alike.
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