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Gustavus Swift and Philip Armour (second)

Page history last edited by Elizabeth Waters 10 years, 4 months ago

Both Smith and Armour revolutionized the national meat industry:


Gustavus Swift opened a butcher shop in Massachusetts in 1859. As his business prospered he began to buy cattle from James Hathaway, a process that involved shipping the cattle from the West to the East. Because live cattle sometimes died on the journey east (thus producing a loss of profit), Swift pioneered the concept of a refrigerated car, enabling one to prepackage the beef before transporting it. He successfully designed this refrigerated car (after many setbacks and technical difficulties, of course). Further, Swift used assembly lines to speed up production and increase efficiency. His most significant decision, though, was centered around the concept of vertical integration, as he owned every aspect of the beef manufacturing process from cattle raising to meat distribution to the consumer.


Philip Danforth Armour cofounded a meatpacking plant in Wisconsin in 1863. Before a sharp drop in meat prices at the end of the civil war, he bought meat cheaply and sold it at higher prices to New York City, making $2 million. Among his successes were the introduction of new canning methods, slaughtering techniques, and uses for waste products. His meatpacking business ventures enabled him to earn about $50 million dollars net profit, and like Rockefeller, used his enormous sums of money to found the Armour Institute of Technology and the Armour Mission.


Gustavus Swift


Philip Armour


Sources:     http://illinoisreview.typepad.com/illinoisreview/images/swiftgf1885.jpg (Image)

                 http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/8/89/Philip_D_Armour_in_the_1880s.jpg/225px-Philip_D_Armour_in_the_1880s.jpg (Image) 


                 The American Pageant    

Comments (2)

Raymond Xu said

at 8:57 pm on Jan 13, 2011

Franly perez said

at 11:34 pm on Jan 13, 2011

able to make different types of meat

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