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Made in Chicago: 'everything but the last breath of the hog' previous 8 of 18 next


'everything but the last breath of the hog' Philip Armour hated waste. His aim was to use every part of the slaughtered animals in his enormous meat packing business. Armour bought smaller niche businesses that made use of unwanted animal parts dumped into the Chicago River or buried on the prairies. Using what he termed "scientific business methods," he turned hair, hooves, intestines and fat into brushes, glue, casings, and oleomargarine.

Armour's drive to reduce factory waste made him more money, and it also helped clean up Chicago's polluted waterways. Yet in the rush to use everything, in those days before government inspection, some unwanted items -- bacteria, dead rodents, sawdust, dirt -- inevitably found their way into the processed meat, bringing pollution to the public in another form.

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