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John Thompson Dorrance - Famous Inventor

: John Thompson Dorrance
: 11-November-1873
: 21-September-1930
: United States
: Massachusetts Institute of Technology, University of Gottingen
: Chemist

About Inventor

John Thompson Dorrance (1873 – 1930) was an American chemist who discovered a method to create condensed soup and served as president of the Campbell Soup Company from 1914 to 1930.

Early Life

He earned a Bachelor of Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he was a member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity, and a Doctor of Philosophy from the University of Gottingen in Germany. A nephew of the general manager of the Joseph Campbell Preserve Company, he went to work there in 1897 and invented condensed soup.

Dorrance went on to become the president of Campbell Soup Company from 1914 to 1930, eventually buying out the Campbell family. He turned the business into one of America's great, and longest-lasting, brands. He was succeeded by his brother, Arthur Dorrance. In 1906 he married Ethel Mallinckrot, with whom he had five children.


Dorrance died on September 21, 1930 of heart disease at his home in Cinnaminson Township, New Jersey.He was buried in West Laurel Hill Cemetery in Bala Cynwyd, Pennsylvania. His estate in Radnor Township, Pennsylvania is now the home of Cabrini College.

Following Dorrance's death, there was significant litigation over his domicile for purposes of estate and inheritance tax. The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania held that he was domiciled in Pennsylvania, and the Supreme Court of New Jersey held that he was domiciled in New Jersey, and his estate was required to pay estate tax to both states. The estate sought relief in the United States Supreme Court, but the request for review was denied.


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