Philip Armour

From Academic Kids

Template:Infobox Biography Philip Danforth Armour (1832-1901) was born in Stockbridge, New York, of Scotch-Irish descent. He was educated at Cazenovia Academy in New York before he dropped out and went to work on the family farm. In 1852 he walked across the country to mine the gold fields of California, and earned $8,000 by the time he was 24. He used those funds to set up his first meat market in Placerville, California.

He moved from California to Milwaukee, Wisconsin with a sizeable fortune and started a wholesale grocery business. With his brother, Herman, he entered the grain business and bult several meat packing plants. Together they formed the Armour and Company in 1867, which soon became the world's largest food processing and chemical manufacturing enterprise, headquartered in Chicago, Illinois.

In order to get his products to market Armour followed the lead of rival Gustavus Swift when he established the Armour Refrigerator Line in 1883. Armour's endeavor soon became the largest private refrigerator car fleet in the U.S., which by 1900 listed over 12,000 units on its roster, all built in Armour's own car plant. The General American Transportation Corporation would assume ownership of the line in 1932.

In 1893, he donated $1 million to found the Armour Institute of Technology (a privately endowed coeducational college), which merged witrh the Lewis Institute to become the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) in 1940.

His meat packing plants pioneered new principles of large-scale organization and refrigeration to the industry. Armour was one of the first to take action to reduce the tremendous waste inherent in the slaughtering of hogs and to take advantage of the resale value of waste products. The company's reputation was tarnished by the scandals of 1898-99 in which it was charged with selling tainted beef.

Armour died on January 6, 1901 of pneumonia at his Chicago home.

Missing image
Armour_reefer.jpg
A refrigerator car of the Armour Refrigerator Line (ARL), circa 1917.
Missing image
Reefers-shorty-Armour-Kansas-City-3891-Pullman.jpg
A Pullman-built "shorty" reefer bearing the Armour Packing Co. - Kansas City logo, circa 1885. Note that the name of the "patentee" was displayed on the car's exterior, a practice intended to "...impress the shipper and intimidate the competition..."


Contents

References

  • White, John W. (1986). The Great Yellow Fleet. Golden West Books, San Marino, CA. ISBN 0870950916.

Further reading

  • Lowe, David Garrard (2000), Lost Chicago. Watson-Guptill Publications, New York, NY. ISBN 0823028712.

See also

External links

  • Armour Square Park (http://www.chicagoparkdistrict.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/parks.detail/object_id/3EDBD844-EC85-4630-8701-4217D869FA42.cfm) of the Chicago Park District
  • The History of IIT (http://www.iit.edu/about/history.html)

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