Nabisco - History - Origins

Origins

Nabisco dates its founding to 1898, a decade during which the bakery business underwent a major consolidation. Early in the decade, bakeries throughout the country were consolidated regionally, into companies such as Chicago's American Biscuit and Manufacturing Company (which was formed from 40 Midwestern bakeries in 1830), the New York Biscuit Company (consisting of seven eastern bakeries), and the United States Baking Company. In 1898, the National Biscuit Company was formed from the combination of those three; the merger resulted in a company with 114 bakeries across the United States and headquartered in New York City. The "biscuit" in the name of the company is a British English and early American English term for cracker and cookie products.

Key to the founding of Nabisco was Pittsburgh baking mogul Sylvester S Marvin. Marvin arrived in Pittsburgh in 1863 and established himself in the cracker business, founding S. S. Marvin Co. Its products embraced every description of crackers, cakes and breads. Marvin was called the Edison of manufacturing for his innovations in the bakery business—by 1888 the largest in the United States—and the centerpiece to the organization of the National Biscuit Company (Nabisco). Marvin was also a member of the elite South Fork Fishing and Hunting Club of Johnstown Flood fame.

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