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Washington, United States
loves: you win if you guessed "pets" and "museums". Also books, art history, travel, British punk, Korean kimchi, bindis, martinis, and other things TBD. I will always make it very clear if a post is sponsored in any way. Drop me a line at thepetmuseum AT gmail.com !

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

who invented the dog biscuit?

For some reason I think those dry dog bone cookies (or whatever shape) have been around forever. Of course they haven't. They were developed around 1860 by James Spratt, an American electrician doing business in London. He was down at the waterfront of Liverpool one day, and saw the hungry dogs there lined up to eat the hardtack no longer wanted by the sailors. (Probably pretty nasty by then.)

And what does this American electrician do? Develops a recipe for dog cookies, calls it the "Patented Meat Fibrine Dog Cake," and finds a location in Holborn, London to go into business. Doesn't that seem random and fascinating to you? In 1870 Spratt's Patent Ltd. branched out into American operations. The company was acquired in 1950 by General Mills.

That only skims the surface of a dynamic history, and I'm going to give you some links I think you'll enjoy. I found the story of James Spratt here at this fine blog. The Wiki on Spratt's is useful. And somebody on Flickr has a photo of the building formerly housing the factory of Spratt's Patent Ltd.

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