The online tool for teaching with documents, from the National Archives

Progressive Era Food Regulation

Finding a Sequence

All documents and text associated with this activity are printed below, followed by a worksheet for student responses.

Introduction

Muckraking by reformers like Upton Sinclair brought potentially dangerous food manufacturing practices to America's attention. Congress passed the Pure Food and Drug Act and the Meat Inspection Act in 1906, and President Theodore Roosevelt signed them into law. Taking effect in 1907, they required: sanitary conditions in factories, inspection of animals and meat, and correct labeling to prevent "adulturation" or misbranding.

Look closely at each document at the top. Would the conditions illustrated have existed before or after these laws took effect? Use the document dates to put them in the right order.


Name:
Class:

Worksheet

Progressive Era Food Regulation

Finding a Sequence

Examine the documents in this activity. Put the corresponding document numbers in order using the list below. Write your conclusion response in the space provided.

1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11



1

Activity Element

Report on Conditions in the Chicago Stock Yards

Page 15



2

Activity Element

Contaminated Ketchup

Page 1



3

Activity Element

Letter from Acting Secretary of State Robert Bacon to U.S. Ambassador to the United Kingdom Whitelaw Reid Discussing Postcards Regarding the Chicago Meatpacking Industry

Page 1



4

Activity Element

An Act of June 30, 1906, Public Law 59-384, for Preventing the Manufacture, Sale, or Transportation of Adulterated or Misbranded or Poisonous or Deleterious Foods, Drugs, Medicines, and Liquors, and f

Page 1



5

Activity Element

Cudahy Packing Co., Omaha, Nebraska

Page 1



6

Activity Element

Postcard Petitions to Label Oleomargarine Sent to W. E. Fuller from Citizens from Iowa

Page 2



7

Activity Element

Branding Smoked Hams

Page 1



8

Activity Element

Letter from Upton Sinclair to President Theodore Roosevelt

Page 3



9

Activity Element

Workers Packing Chipped Beef

Page 1



10

Activity Element

Egg Seizure

Page 1



11

Activity Element

Letter to President Theodore Roosevelt from the Federation of Grocers' Associations of the United Kingdom

Page 1



Conclusion

Progressive Era Food Regulation

Finding a Sequence

Now that you have seen and read about the food industry, answer the following questions in preparation for class discussion: - What are 5 adjectives you would use to describe the food industry before these laws were passed? What 5 for after? - How would you describe the food industry before these laws were passed in general? After? - Why do you think more photographic evidence exists for after than before? - Why do you think there were lingering complaints about food even after the laws were passed? - Do you think food has been more or less regulated since?

Your Response




Document

Report on Conditions in the Chicago Stock Yards

1905

Labor Commissioner Charles Neill and Assistant Secretary of the Treasury James Reynolds were commissioned by President Theodore Roosevelt to conduct an inspection of the meatpacking industry.
This primary source comes from the Records of the U.S. House of Representatives.
National Archives Identifier: 595296
Full Citation: Report on Conditions in the Chicago Stock Yards; 1905; Records of the U.S. House of Representatives, . [Online Version, https://www.docsteach.org/documents/document/report-on-conditions-in-the-chicago-stock-yards, November 18, 2017]


Report on Conditions in the Chicago Stock Yards

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Report on Conditions in the Chicago Stock Yards

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Report on Conditions in the Chicago Stock Yards

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Report on Conditions in the Chicago Stock Yards

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Report on Conditions in the Chicago Stock Yards

Page 11



Report on Conditions in the Chicago Stock Yards

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Report on Conditions in the Chicago Stock Yards

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Report on Conditions in the Chicago Stock Yards

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Report on Conditions in the Chicago Stock Yards

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Report on Conditions in the Chicago Stock Yards

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Report on Conditions in the Chicago Stock Yards

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Report on Conditions in the Chicago Stock Yards

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Report on Conditions in the Chicago Stock Yards

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Report on Conditions in the Chicago Stock Yards

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Report on Conditions in the Chicago Stock Yards

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Report on Conditions in the Chicago Stock Yards

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Report on Conditions in the Chicago Stock Yards

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Report on Conditions in the Chicago Stock Yards

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Report on Conditions in the Chicago Stock Yards

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Report on Conditions in the Chicago Stock Yards

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Report on Conditions in the Chicago Stock Yards

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Report on Conditions in the Chicago Stock Yards

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Report on Conditions in the Chicago Stock Yards

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Document

Letter from Acting Secretary of State Robert Bacon to U.S. Ambassador to the United Kingdom Whitelaw Reid Discussing Postcards Regarding the Chicago Meatpacking Industry

10/9/1907

A State Department official fittingly named Robert Bacon sent these British postcards to the United States ambassador in London. One of Armour and Company’s general managers had complained that the cards were hurting their business.
This primary source comes from the General Records of the Department of State.
National Archives Identifier: 2657925
Full Citation: Letter from Acting Secretary of State Robert Bacon to U.S. Ambassador to the United Kingdom Whitelaw Reid Discussing Postcards Regarding the Chicago Meatpacking Industry; 10/9/1907; General Records of the Department of State, . [Online Version, https://www.docsteach.org/documents/document/letter-from-acting-secretary-of-state-robert-bacon-to-us-ambassador-to-the-united-kingdom-whitelaw-reid-discussing-postcards-regarding-the-chicago-meatpacking-industry, November 18, 2017]


Letter from Acting Secretary of State Robert Bacon to U.S. Ambassador to the United Kingdom Whitelaw Reid Discussing Postcards Regarding the Chicago Meatpacking Industry

Page 1



Letter from Acting Secretary of State Robert Bacon to U.S. Ambassador to the United Kingdom Whitelaw Reid Discussing Postcards Regarding the Chicago Meatpacking Industry

Page 2



Letter from Acting Secretary of State Robert Bacon to U.S. Ambassador to the United Kingdom Whitelaw Reid Discussing Postcards Regarding the Chicago Meatpacking Industry

Page 3



Letter from Acting Secretary of State Robert Bacon to U.S. Ambassador to the United Kingdom Whitelaw Reid Discussing Postcards Regarding the Chicago Meatpacking Industry

Page 4



Letter from Acting Secretary of State Robert Bacon to U.S. Ambassador to the United Kingdom Whitelaw Reid Discussing Postcards Regarding the Chicago Meatpacking Industry

Page 5



Letter from Acting Secretary of State Robert Bacon to U.S. Ambassador to the United Kingdom Whitelaw Reid Discussing Postcards Regarding the Chicago Meatpacking Industry

Page 6



Letter from Acting Secretary of State Robert Bacon to U.S. Ambassador to the United Kingdom Whitelaw Reid Discussing Postcards Regarding the Chicago Meatpacking Industry

Page 7



Letter from Acting Secretary of State Robert Bacon to U.S. Ambassador to the United Kingdom Whitelaw Reid Discussing Postcards Regarding the Chicago Meatpacking Industry

Page 8



Document

Egg Seizure

ca. 1940-1953

The Bureau of Chemistry inspectors approached their work as detectives on a mission to protect consumers. These photos show inspectors seizing and burning crates of contaminated frozen eggs.
This primary source comes from the Records of the Food and Drug Administration.
National Archives Identifier: 5710029
Full Citation: Egg Seizure; ca. 1940-1953; Records of the Food and Drug Administration, . [Online Version, https://www.docsteach.org/documents/document/egg-seizure, November 18, 2017]


Egg Seizure

Page 1



Document

Branding Smoked Hams

1910

The Meat Inspection Act, unlike the Pure Food and Drug Act, provided for inspection and approval before products went to market. Early meat inspection activities were documented in a photographic album, "the United States Government Inspection at the Meat Packing Establishments."
This primary source comes from the Records of the Bureau of Animal Industry.
National Archives Identifier: 5714089
Full Citation: Branding Smoked Hams; 1910; Records of the Bureau of Animal Industry, . [Online Version, https://www.docsteach.org/documents/document/branding-smoked-hams, November 18, 2017]


Branding Smoked Hams

Page 1



Document

Contaminated Ketchup

1909

Ketchup was one of the first successful processed foods. By 1900 there were over 100 different brands of this popular condiment. Made from fermented tomato cores and skins, canners added vinegar to flavor and preserve it and dyes to make it red. Because the resulting concoction was prone to explode, canners started adding benzoate of soda as a preservative. Henry Heinz proved ketchup could be made without benzoate in a clean factory using ripe tomatoes.
This primary source comes from the Records of the Food and Drug Administration.
National Archives Identifier: 5710028
Full Citation: Contaminated Ketchup; 1909; Records of the Food and Drug Administration, . [Online Version, https://www.docsteach.org/documents/document/contaminated-ketchup, November 18, 2017]


Contaminated Ketchup

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Contaminated Ketchup

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Contaminated Ketchup

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Contaminated Ketchup

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Document

Workers Packing Chipped Beef

1910

The Meat Inspection Act, unlike the Pure Food and Drug Act, provided for inspection and approval before products went to market. Early meat inspection activities were documented in a photographic album, "the United States Government Inspection at the Meat Packing Establishments."
This primary source comes from the Records of the Bureau of Animal Industry.
National Archives Identifier: 5714086
Full Citation: Workers Packing Chipped Beef; 1910; Records of the Bureau of Animal Industry, . [Online Version, https://www.docsteach.org/documents/document/workers-packing-chipped-beef, November 18, 2017]


Workers Packing Chipped Beef

Page 1



Document

Letter to President Theodore Roosevelt from the Federation of Grocers' Associations of the United Kingdom

7/3/1906

A group of grocers in the United Kingdom wrote President Theodore Roosevelt seeking assurances about the safety of American beef.
This primary source comes from the Records of the Office of the Secretary of Agriculture.
National Archives Identifier: 594852
Full Citation: Letter to President Theodore Roosevelt from the Federation of Grocers' Associations of the United Kingdom; 7/3/1906; Records of the Office of the Secretary of Agriculture, . [Online Version, https://www.docsteach.org/documents/document/letter-to-president-theodore-roosevelt-from-the-federation-of-grocers-associations-of-the-united-kingdom, November 18, 2017]


Letter to President Theodore Roosevelt from the Federation of Grocers' Associations of the United Kingdom

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Letter to President Theodore Roosevelt from the Federation of Grocers' Associations of the United Kingdom

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Document

An Act of June 30, 1906, Public Law 59-384, 34 STAT 768, for Preventing the Manufacture, Sale, or Transportation of Adulterated or Misbranded or Poisonous or Deleterious Foods, Drugs, Medicines, and Liquors, and for Regulating Traffic Therein, and fo

6/30/1906

The Pure Food and Drugs Act made it illegal to ship or receive any adulterated or misbranded food or drug. To remove foods deemed “filthy, decomposed, or putrid” from the market, Food and Drug Administration (FDA) agents had to build scientific and legal cases against them.

The full title of the act is: An Act of June 30, 1906, Public Law 59-384, 34 STAT 768, for Preventing the Manufacture, Sale, or Transportation of Adulterated or Misbranded or Poisonous or Deleterious Foods, Drugs, Medicines, and Liquors, and for Regulating Traffic Therein, and for Other Purposes.

Transcript

Fifty-ninth Congress of the United States of America;
At the First session,

Begun and held at the City of Washington on Monday, the fourth day of December, one
thousand nine hundred and five.

AN ACT

For preventing the manufacture, sale, or transportation of adulterated or misbranded or poisonous or deleterious foods, drugs, medicines, and liquors, and for regulating traffic therein, and for other purposes.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That it shall be unlawful for any persons to manufacture within any Territory or the District of Columbia any article of food or drug which is adulterated or misbranded, within the meaning of this Act; and any person who shall violate any of the provisions of this section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and for each offense shall, upon conviction thereof, be fined not to exceed five hundred dollars or shall be sentenced to one year's imprisonment, or both such fine and imprisonment, in the discretion of the court, and for each subsequent offense and conviction thereof shall be fined not less than one thousand dollars or sentenced to one year's imprisonment, or both such fine and imprisonment, in the discretion of the court.
SEC. 2. That the introduction into any State or Territory or the District of Columbia from any other State or Territory or the District of Columbia, or from any foreign country, or shipment to any foreign country of any article of food or drugs which is adulterated or misbranded, within the meaning of this Act, is hereby prohibited; and any person who shall ship or deliver for shipment from any State or Territory or the District of Columbia to any other State or Territory or the District of Columbia, or to a foreign country, or who shall receive in any State or Territory for the District of Columbia from any other State or Territory or the District of Columbia, or foreign country, and having so received, shall deliver, in original unbroken packages, for pay or otherwise,



3

article duly authenticated by the analyst or officer making such examination, under the oath of such officer. After the judgment of the court, notice shall be given by publication in such manner as may be prescribed by the rules and regulations aforesaid.

SEC. 5. That it shall be the duty of each district attorney to whom the Secretary of Agriculture shall report any violation of this Act, or to whom any health or food or drug officer or agent of any State, Territory, or the District of Columbia shall present satisfactory evidence of any such violation, to cause appropriate proceedings to be commenced and prosecuted in the proper courts of the United States, without delay, for the enforcement of the penalties as in such case herein provided.

SEC. 6. That the term "drug," as used in this Act, shall include all medicines and preparations recognized in the United States Pharmacopeia or National Formulary for internal or external use, and any substance or mixture of substances intended to be used for the cure, mitigation, or prevention of disease of either man or other animals. The term "food," as used herein, shall include all articles used for food, drink, confectionery, or condiment by man or other animals, whether simple, mixed, or compound.

SEC. 7. That for the purpose of this Act and article shall be deemed to be adulterated:
In case of drugs:
First. If, when a drug is sold under or by a name recognized in the United States Pharmacopeia or National Formulary, it differs from the standard of strength, quality, or purity, as determined by the test laid down in the United State Pharmacopeia or National Formulary official at the time of investigation: Provided, That no drug in the United States Pharmacopeia or National Formulary shall be deemed to be adulterated under this provision if the standard of strength, quality, or purity be plainly stated upon the bottle, box, or other container thereof although the standard may differ from that determined by the test laid down in the United States Pharmacopeia or National Formulary.
Second. If its strength or purity fall below the professed standard or quality under which it is sold.
In the case of confectionery:
If it contains terra alba, barytes, talc, chrome yellow, or other mineral substance or poisonous color or flavor, or other ingredient deleterious or detrimental to health, or any vinous malt or spirituous liquor or compound or narcotic drug.
In the case of food:
First. If any substance has been mixed and packed with it so as to reduce or lower or injuriously affect its quality or strength.
Second. If any substance has been substituted wholly or in part for the article.
Third. If any valuable constituent of the article has been wholly or in part abstracted.



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Act shall be construed to import both the plural and the singular, as the case demands, and shall include corporations, companies, societies and associations. When construing and enforcing the provisions of this Act, the act, omission, or failure of any officer, agent, or other person acting for or employed by any corporation, company, society, or association as well as that of the person.
SEC. 13. That this Act shall be in force and effect from and after the first day of January, nineteen hundred and seven.

J G Cannon
Speaker of the House of Representatives.

Charles W. Fairbanks
Vice-President of the United States and President of the Senate

Approved June 30, 1906
Theodore Roosevelt


This primary source comes from the General Records of the United States Government.
National Archives Identifier: 5716297
Full Citation: An Act of June 30, 1906, Public Law 59-384, 34 STAT 768, for Preventing the Manufacture, Sale, or Transportation of Adulterated or Misbranded or Poisonous or Deleterious Foods, Drugs, Medicines, and Liquors, and for Regulating Traffic Therein, and fo; 6/30/1906; Enrolled Acts and Resolutions of Congress, 1789 - 2011; General Records of the United States Government, ; National Archives Building, Washington, DC. [Online Version, https://www.docsteach.org/documents/document/pure-food-and-drug-act, November 18, 2017]


An Act of June 30, 1906, Public Law 59-384, 34 STAT 768, for Preventing the Manufacture, Sale, or Transportation of Adulterated or Misbranded or Poisonous or Deleterious Foods, Drugs, Medicines, and Liquors, and for Regulating Traffic Therein, and fo

Page 1



An Act of June 30, 1906, Public Law 59-384, 34 STAT 768, for Preventing the Manufacture, Sale, or Transportation of Adulterated or Misbranded or Poisonous or Deleterious Foods, Drugs, Medicines, and Liquors, and for Regulating Traffic Therein, and fo

Page 2



An Act of June 30, 1906, Public Law 59-384, 34 STAT 768, for Preventing the Manufacture, Sale, or Transportation of Adulterated or Misbranded or Poisonous or Deleterious Foods, Drugs, Medicines, and Liquors, and for Regulating Traffic Therein, and fo

Page 3



Document

Letter from Upton Sinclair to President Theodore Roosevelt

3/10/1906

This primary source comes from the Records of the Office of the Secretary of Agriculture.
National Archives Identifier: 301981
Full Citation: Letter from Upton Sinclair to President Theodore Roosevelt; 3/10/1906; Records of the Office of the Secretary of Agriculture, . [Online Version, https://www.docsteach.org/documents/document/letter-from-upton-sinclair-to-president-theodore-roosevelt, November 18, 2017]


Letter from Upton Sinclair to President Theodore Roosevelt

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Letter from Upton Sinclair to President Theodore Roosevelt

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Letter from Upton Sinclair to President Theodore Roosevelt

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Letter from Upton Sinclair to President Theodore Roosevelt

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Letter from Upton Sinclair to President Theodore Roosevelt

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Letter from Upton Sinclair to President Theodore Roosevelt

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Letter from Upton Sinclair to President Theodore Roosevelt

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Document

Cudahy Packing Co., Omaha, Nebraska

1910

This primary source comes from the Records of the Bureau of Animal Industry.
National Archives Identifier: 5714090
Full Citation: Cudahy Packing Co., Omaha, Nebraska; 1910; Records of the Bureau of Animal Industry, . [Online Version, https://www.docsteach.org/documents/document/cudahy-packing-co-omaha-nebraska, November 18, 2017]


Cudahy Packing Co., Omaha, Nebraska

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Document

Postcard Petitions to Label Oleomargarine Sent to W. E. Fuller from Citizens from Iowa

1886

“Our soils will be depleted and become barren,” the dairy industry is doomed,” and Americans will be robbed of “life promoting vitamins . . . without which human infants cannot continue to live” are just some of the prognostications made by dairy farmers in their petitions for market controls on imitation dairy products.
This primary source comes from the Records of the U.S. House of Representatives.
National Archives Identifier: 5716618
Full Citation: Postcard Petitions to Label Oleomargarine Sent to W. E. Fuller from Citizens from Iowa; 1886; Records of the U.S. House of Representatives, . [Online Version, https://www.docsteach.org/documents/document/postcard-petitions-to-label-oleomargarine-sent-to-w-e-fuller-from-citizens-from-iowa, November 18, 2017]


Postcard Petitions to Label Oleomargarine Sent to W. E. Fuller from Citizens from Iowa

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Postcard Petitions to Label Oleomargarine Sent to W. E. Fuller from Citizens from Iowa

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