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Charles Gulden (Charles Gulden)

Charles Gulden

Entrepreneur/”The Father of American Mustard.” Born to German immigrants, Charles Gulden began his working career as an engraver in 1858. In 1860 he went to work for his uncle, who owned Union Mustard Mills located at 123 Mott Street in New York City. During the American Civil War, Charles was drafted in 1863 serving only thirty days. However, during this period, his regiment was engaged at the famed Battle of Gettysburg. In 1867 Charles opened his own mustard business in the South Street Seaport area at 63 Elizabeth Street.  At that time, mustard seed and vinegar, the main ingredients of the mustard condiment, were imported and this location gave him ready access to shipments.  The company grew in immense popularity and success and by 1883 had ventured into other food business, notably olives, capers, cottonseed oil, ketchup and Worcestershire sauce. Charles’ father obtained a patent for a unique mustard bottle on March 16, 1875 and another on July 5, 1881 for what might be deemed the first “squeeze” dispenser (long before the current ubiquitous squeeze bottle,) when he patented “A vessel for holding and dispensing mustard.”  Charles also received a patent for packaging, specifically for a mustard jar cap on January 30, 1893 and his nephew received one on March 16, 1897 for improvements on his grandfather’s patent.  Charles Gulden (the first) came up with a creative idea for dispensing his condiment around 1883, when he attached a silver spoon to each bottle.  Later, this was changed to a wooden one before finally being removed from the packaging.  Gulden’s Mustard was the recipient of numerous awards as early as 1869 at the 38th Annual Fair of the American Institute and continued to be highly acclaimed for many years including the following: the Colombian Exposition 1893, the Exposition Universelle, Paris 1900, the Sesquicentennial International Exposition in Philadelphia 1926 and in modern times at the Napa Valley Mustard Festival in 2005.  Two medals, representing the 1893 and 1900 awards were part of the products labeling until the recipe change in the 1960’s.  Mr. Gulden himself not only became very wealthy, he was seen as an astute business executive who took seats on the Board of Directors of several international banks and other institutions.  Charles Gulden, Inc. was a family business for nearly a century.  Charles’ sons Charles II (July 1869 – June 4, 1910) and Frank (September 28, 1878 – January 24, 1961) worked for the company.  Frank and his sons Charles (October 19, 1910 – March 27, 1994) and Frank, Jr. (1904 – August 3, 1989) held seats as President and Chairman of the company at various times.  In 1962, great grandson Charles, Jr. (November 16, 1934 – December 14, 2006) sold the company to American Home Foods.  American Home Foods was sold to ConAgra in 2006. In 2014, Gulden’s ranks number three among the leading mustard brands.  It is the oldest continuously operated mustard provider in the United States.  (bio by: Gary Urbanowicz)  Family links:  Parents:  Jacob Adam Gulden (1811 – 1890)  Albertina Geissen Gulden (1813 – 1854)  Spouse:  Margaret Williams Gulden (1848 – 1907)  Children:  Emma Gulden Snedeker (1868 – 1944)*  Charles Gulden (1869 – 1910)*  Harriet Gulden Hall (1875 – 1922)*  Frank Gulden (1878 – 1961)*  Margaret Gulden Titus (1881 – 1965)*  Florence Gulden Mullins (1886 – 1974)*  Siblings:  Emilia Gulden (____ – 1861)*  Son Of Jacob Gulden (____ – 1854)*  Alice Gulden (____ – 1878)*  William J. Gulden (____ – 1878)*  Charles Gulden (1843 – 1916) *Calculated relationship


  • September, 23, 1843
  • USA


  • August, 08, 1916
  • USA


  • Woodlawn Cemetery
  • USA

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