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John T. Dorrance

AKA John Thompson Dorrance

Born: 11-Nov-1873
Birthplace: Bristol, PA
Died: 21-Sep-1930
Location of death: Cinnaminson, NJ
Cause of death: Heart Failure
Remains: Buried, West Laurel Hill Cemetery, Bala Cynwyd, PA

Gender: Male
Religion: Christian
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Business, Chemist

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Invented condensed soup

John T. Dorrance's uncle was President of Joseph Campbell & Company, and after earning his doctorate in chemistry the younger Dorrance was hired to work in Campbell's kitchen laboratory. There he invented a process for condensing soup, eliminating much of the water without reducing the flavor or nutritional value. This drastically reduced shipping costs for his employer, allowing Campbell to ship its products nationwide, and made Campbell the dominant brand of soup. Within five years of Dorrance's 1897 breakthrough, Campbell was selling more than 15 million cans of soup annually. Dorrance was promoted to Vice President, succeeded his father as president of in 1914, and became sole owner of the company in 1922, as the company was re-named Campbell Soup. He left an estate of $128M at his death, and his descendants retain control of the company. His mansion and sprawling grounds were purchased in 1953 by the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and are now the campus of Cabrini College.

Father: John Dorrance
Mother: Eleanor Gillingham Thompson ("Elvira")
Brother: Arthur Calbraith Dorrance (Campbell executive)
Wife: Ethel Mallinckrot Dorrance (m. 1906)
Son: John T. Dorrance, Jr. (Campbell executive, b. 1919, d. 1989)
Daughter: Elinor Dorrance Hill Ingersoll (Campbell executive, b. 1907)
Daughter: Ethel Campbell (b. 1909)
Daughter: Charlotte Campbell (b. 1911)
Daughter: Margaret Dorrance Strawbridge (b. 1915, d. 1953)

    University: BS Chemistry, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1895)
    University: PhD Chemistry, University of Göttingen (1897)

    Campbell Soup President (1914-30)
    Campbell Soup Vice President (1900-14)
    Campbell Soup Research & Development (1897-1900)
    Member of the Board of Campbell Soup (1900-14)
    Member of the Board of National Bank of Commerce
    Member of the Board of Old Colony Trust Company
    Member of the Board of Pennsylvania Railroad
    Member of the Board of Philadelphia National Bank
    Member of the Board of Prudential
    Philadelphia Museum of Art Trustee


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