Philip Danforth Armour, I (Philip Danforth Armour, I)

Philip Danforth Armour, I

Businessman. He was born in Stockbridge, New York, where his parents were farmers. When he was 19, he left for California to join the gold rush, where he started a business building sluices for use in the gold mining enterprise. Around 1856, he took his profits from the sluice business and relocated to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where he started a wholesale grocery business. In 1859, he took up partnership with Frederick Miles who was in the grain business and later on he teamed up with John Plankinton in the meatpacking industry, naming it the Plankinton, Armour & Company. His shrewd business decisions during and after the Civil War enabled him to lift his company to the forefront of the meat industry and led to company’s expansion to other cities in the Midwestern United States. In 1867 he, along with his brother Herman Armour, entered the grain business again and formed Armour and Company, which soon was to become the world’s largest food processing and chemical manufacturing enterprise with its headquarters in Chicago, Illinois. His company was the first to produce canned meat and also the first to employ an assembly-line technique in its factories to speed up production. He also reduced the tremendous amount of waste involved in the slaughtering of hogs, taking advantage of the potential resale value of what had previously been waste products, such as fertilizer, glue, and pepsin. He once famously declared that he made use of “everything but the squeal.” To ship his meat products, he utilized refrigerated railcars, establishing the Armour Refrigerator Line in 1883, which soon became the largest private refrigerated railcar fleet in the United States with over 12,000 cars by 1900. He fought to keep unions out of his meatpacking plants and was successful in breaking three major strikes that directly concerned his factories. His company’s reputation was further tarnished by the scandal of 1898-1899 when it was charged with selling tainted meat, providing fodder for the bestselling novel by Upton Sinclair entitled “The Jungle” which exposed the dark side of the meatpacking industry. In spite of this, he was known as a philanthropist, donating $1 million to found the Armour Institute of Technology and created the Armour Mission, an educational and healthcare center. He died of pneumonia. (bio by: William Bjornstad)  Family links:  Parents:  Danforth Armour (1799 – 1873)  Juliana Ann Brooks Armour (1799 – 1879)  Spouse:  Malvina Belle Ogden Armour (1842 – 1927)*  Children:  Jonathan Ogden Armour (1863 – 1927)*  Philip Danforth Armour (1869 – 1900)*  Siblings:  Simeon Brooks Armour (1828 – 1899)*  Andrew Watson Armour (1829 – 1892)*  Philip Danforth Armour (1832 – 1901)  Mary Lucy Armour Burleson (1832 – 1861)*  Marietta Armour Chapin (1834 – 1897)*  Charles Eugene Armour (1835 – 1863)*  Herman Ossian Armour (1837 – 1901)*  Joseph Frances Armour (1842 – 1881)* *Calculated relationship


  • May, 16, 1832
  • USA


  • January, 01, 1901
  • USA


  • Graceland Cemetery
  • Illinois
  • USA

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