Early History of Soybeans and Soyfoods Worldwide (1900-1914)

William Shurtleff, Akiko AoyagiISBN: 978-1-948436-35-9

Publication Date: 2021 April 10

Number of References in Bibliography: 4149

Earliest Reference: 1900

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Early History of Soybeans and Soyfoods Worldwide (1900-1914)

1900 March – The use of horses for soy bean production is first mentioned. In Kansas, soy beans are cultivated, the same as corn, “using the two-horse cultivator…” (Cottrell, Otis and Haney).

1900 Aug. 3 – Clifford Edmond Clinton (later founder of Meals for Millions) is born in Berkeley, California, the third of ten children (nine survived childhood). His parents are both devout Christians and active in the Salvation Army. They live in Berkeley and own (and manage) a restaurant named Dennets in San Francisco. As missionaries in China, they would soon see unforgettable hunger.

1900 Dec. 19 – Mildred Mathilda Lager is born in West Superior, Douglas County, Wisconsin, the only child of Gustav Walfred Lager and Hilda Marie Erickson. Gustav came to the USA in 1890 and Hilda in 1881, both from Sweden. They were married on 28 Oct. 1899 in Superior, Wisconsin. She would later (1945) write one of the most important books about soybeans and soyfoods.

1900 – The Dutchman Dr. P.A. Boorsma, who lives in Java and did original laboratory tests, publishes the first detailed description (in Dutch) of the traditional Indonesian process for making Tempe kedeleh (soybean tempeh).

Boorsma is also the first to mention fermented black soybeans in Dutch. In the Dutch East Indies (today’s Indonesia), they are called Tao-dji. However they gradually disappear from Indonesia.

1900Brazil: Soybean experiments are conducted at the Agronomy School of Rio Grande do Sul, in Pelotas (Hasse & Bueno 1996, p. 198).

1900 – The term “soy bean flour” is first used to refer to soy flour (Hutchison).

1901 Nov. 3 – Fermented black soybeans are first mentioned in the New York Times, in an article titled “How to make chop suey.” They are used to make commercial “See Yu sauce.”

1901 – In Canada, Charles Zavitz starts to send soybean varieties to Ontario farmers for evaluation through the Experimental Union (McEwen et al. 1999).

1902 Oct. 15 – Fermented tofu is first referred to in English as “Fermented bean-curd” (New York Tribune, Oct. 15).

1902 – The term “Hamananatto” is first used in English to refer to Japanese fermented black soybeans, by Sawa of Japan.

1902India: An article in the Times of India (Dec. 1, p. 6) titled “Improving Indian agriculture: Some recent experiments.” It concerns the Bombay Government farms established at Poona and Surat: In the seed store of the experimental farm “there are gathered together specimens of every kind of grain and vegetable which is being tested. A single example will give an idea of the work which is in progress. Here are some half dozen sealed jars containing different varieties of the soy bean. This is largely utilized as human food in Japan, and is much richer in albuminoids than any other pulse. It is grown to a certain extent in Northern India, but the quality is far inferior to that produced in Japan. So Japanese seed has been procured, with a view to its acclimatization and substitution for the inferior Indian variety.”

1902 – Taylor Fouts graduates from Purdue University (which is Indiana's state agricultural college) with a bachelor of science degree in agriculture; he was the only member of the Fouts family to graduate from college. During the early 1900s, several faculty members in the Purdue College of Agriculture are very interested in soybeans; these include W.C. Latta, John H. Skinner, Alfred T. Wiancko, and C.O. Cromer. Taylor is now "convinced that the whole Cornbelt needed soybeans and would like them for keeps."

1902 ca. – Duncan & Sons begins making Lea & Perrins Worcestershire sauce in New York City (Wright 1975, p. 33).

1902 – For the first time in a cookbook, it is stated that soy sauce “forms the foundation of” Worcestershire sauce (Rorer 1902, p. 334-35).

1902 – Hydrogenation is first patented by the German inventor Wilhelm Normann in 1902 in Germany and in 1903 in Great Britain. Joseph Crosfield & Sons, Ltd., of Warrington, England, is the world's first company to attempt commercial hydrogenation; they begin operating their plant in 1906. In 1909 Procter & Gamble (P&G) in the United States acquires the rights to the Normann/Crosfield patent. At the time, P&G is a soap manufacturing company that makes no edible products. In 1911, after considerable developmental work, P&G launches Crisco, the world's first vegetable shortening. The name is an abbreviation of the words "crystallized cottonseed oil." The company has the wisdom to market Crisco as a new vegetable product, not as a lard substitute, and the absence of any animal fat was featured in its extensive and persistent nationwide advertising.

1903 Oct.South Africa (Ruled by Britain). Soybeans are first cultivated (Burtt-Davy 1905).

1903 Nov. 12 – George Washington Carver of Tuskegee, Alabama, writes to Dr. Alfred C. True, USDA, about the work of the experiment station during the past year. They are growing forage crops, including soy beans. Carver soon becomes a soy bean promoter.

1903Porto Rico: Soybeans are first cultivated experimentally at the Porto Rico Agricultural Experiment Station. These are also the first soybeans grown in the Caribbean (Gardner 1903, p. 423).

1904 Jan. – Caribbean: George T. Moore, a plant physiologist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, has developed a method for sending inoculated soybeans or inoculating soil to farmers who request it. In response to many requests, he sends (between Nov. 1902 and Nov. 1904) two packets to Cuba and one to Porto Rico (Moore 1905, p. 42-43).

1904 April 10 – Dr. Yamei Kin first mentions soyfoods or soybeans. In an article titled “Chinese Food Products: Beans a Leading Article of Food in China” the New-York Tribune reports that she discussed soy sauce and bean cake [tofu].

1904 spring – Taylor Fouts collects enough soybean seed from the Indiana Experiment Station and "Soybean" Smith – an Indiana soybean pioneer from Warren County – to plant 4 acres, 1 acre each of the Ogema, Ito San, Early Brown and Hollybrook varieties. Since he planted them incorrectly, only a few grew, but he saved that seed for another trial in 1905. Each year he planted more "soys" and by 1907 his varieties were Ito San and Hollybrook.

1904 – George T. Moore of the USDA’s Laboratory of Plant Physiology develops a way of reliably distributing pure-culture nitrogen-fixing bacteria for legumes in a dry state on absorbent cotton. He patents the process and assigns the patent to the USDA so that it may be used free of charge by all Americans. A photo (p. 835) shows the roots of two soy-bean plants from the field. The one on the right has many root tubercles; the one on the left has none. Before this, failures of nitrogen-fixing bacterial cultures greatly outnumbered successes (Grosvenor 1904).

From Nov. 1902 to Nov. 1904 Moore sent 391 packages of soy bean cultures to those requesting them in most U.S. states and several foreign countries, from which he received back 129 reports; 54 of these reported inoculation resulted in a definite increase of the crop (Moore 1905).

1904Costa Rica: Soybeans are first cultivated in Costa Rica (Leon 1947, p. 20).

1904 – Fermented tofu is first referred to in English as “bean curd cheese” (Geil 1904). This is the first of many names containing the word “cheese.” Indeed fermented tofu is one of the most delicious non-dairy (vegan) cheeses.

1904 – Based on chemical analyses in a laboratory, Fesca shows that soy sauce is an ingredient in Worcestershire sauce (p. 159-63). Many subsequent documents confirm this fact.

1905 Jan. 7 – An ad by Lea and Perrins in the Japan Weekly Mail (Yokohama, p. 24) states: "The original and genuine Worcestershire. By Royal warrant to His Majesty the King." This is the earliest known ad to contain the last sentence in connection with this sauce.

1905 July 29 – The Taft-Katsura Agreement is signed. The U.S. recognizes Japan's control over Korea. In return, Japan recognizes U.S. control over the Philippines.

1905 Sept. 5 – The Treaty of Portsmouth ends the Russo-Japanese War (Feb. 1904-1905). In a mere 50 years Japan has transformed itself from an isolated underdeveloped country with no industrial base into a modern nation, a major military and industrial power. The victorious Japanese move into Korea. The treaty gave Japan the Russian lease on the Kwantung Peninsula and the Russian-built South Manchurian Railway as far north as Changchun. This event won for Japan full status as a world power and equality with the nations of the West. In its victory over Russia, Japan became the first non-white or non-Western nation to defeat a white or Western nation in a war.

1905 – Sugita Jozo-sho (Sugita Brewery) is now making Sugita Shoyu in San Jose, California. It is the second company to make soy sauce in the continental United States, and also in San Jose!

1905 – Dr. Kendo Saito, a professor in the Plant Physiology Laboratory of the Botanical Institute at Tokyo Imperial University, first describes (in German) and illustrates what is today considered to be the main tempeh microorganism, Rhizopus oligosporus. He did not, however, mention tempeh (Zentralblatt fuer Bakteriologie 14:623-27).

1905 – Yamajo Soy Co. (Yamajo Shoyu Seizo-sho) starts to make shoyu in Honolulu, Oahu. Established by Mr. Nobuyuki Yamakami, it is the first successful shoyu manufacturer in Hawaii. By 1909 it was renamed Hawaiian Soy Co. Ltd. (Hawaii Shoyu K.K.).

1905 – Five tofu shops are now owned and operated by Japanese in the United States: (1) Minato-ya, 24½ Quincy St., San Francisco, California. (2) Murata-ten (Renamed Murata Tofu-ya by 1906), P.O. Box 51, Isleton, California. (3) Nishi Tofu-ya, 87 Japanese Alley, Sacramento, California. (4) Okumura Kuraoka Tofu-ya [Tofu Shop] (Renamed Okumura Tofu-ya by 1906), 632 N. 6th St., San Jose, California. (5) Ichino Tofu-ya / Shintaro Kodama, 446 Jackson St., Los Angeles, California. Note that all are located in California. (Source: Zaibei Nippon-jin Nenkan) (The Japanese-American Yearbook. 1905).

The first Japanese tofu shop in Washington State was in operation by 1906 (in Seattle); in Utah by 1907 (Ogden); in Nevada by 1908 (Reno); in New York by 1911 (Brooklyn, NYC), and in Idaho by 1913 (Sugar City). Thus, almost all of the earliest known tofu shops in the United States were started by people of Japanese ancestry – most of them in small communities in California, Oregon and Washington.

By 1910 at least 61 Japanese tofu shops had been established in the USA, by 1920 at least 166, by 1930 at least 293, by 1940 at least 392, and by 1950 at least 425.

1905 – Li Yu-ying presents his first paper on soy (in French) at the Second International Dairy Congress in Paris; it is later published in the proceedings. He emphasizes that the introduction of soybean milk to Western countries would be highly beneficial to public health and to the budget of the poor.

1905Cuba: Soybeans are first grown successfully at the agronomic station at Santiago de las Vegas (Cruz 1906, p. 73-74).

1905 – Cuba and Costa Rica: Packets of inoculated soybeans or soybean inoculant are sent by George T. Moore of the USDA; 2 packets to Cuba and 1 to Costa Rica. These may well have resulted in soybean cultivation (Moore 1905, p. 42-43).

1905Jamaica: Soybeans are first grown experimentally (Inst. International d’Agriculture 1936, p. 38-110).

1905Guyana: Soybeans are first cultivated (Sampson 1936, p. 85, 201).

1905Suriname (Formerly Surinam and Dutch Guiana): Soybeans are first cultivated (Kaltenbach & Legros 1936, p. 187T-89T).

1905 – Dr. Charles V. Piper becomes head of USDA’s Office of Forage Crop Investigations at the time of its founding.

1906 Jan. 23 – A.T. Wiancko of Indiana writes his first report to C.V. Piper on the soy beans he has received from Piper at the Bureau of Plant Industry. An agriculturist at the Purdue Agricultural Experiment Station, Lafayette, Indiana, Wiancko was an early promoter of soybeans in the Midwest.

1906 April – Kayatama, in Japan, reports that he has made “A condensed vegetable milk” from soy-beans.

1906 AprilZimbabwe (British colony; Southern Rhodesia from 1923 to 1970; Part of Rhodesia from 1970-1979). Soybeans are first cultivated (Rhodesian Agricultural Journal, 1906).

1906 Aug. – “On the microorganisms of natto,” by S. Sawamura is published in a scientific journal in Japan. He found two bacteria in natto. He was the first to isolate Bacillus natto from natto and to give that name to the newly-discovered microorganism, and to show that it was responsible for the natto fermentation.

1906 – Tung rymbai, a close relative of natto from Meghalaya in northeast India, is first mentioned by Singh in a Khasi-English dictionary. This is the earliest known relative of natto to be mentioned.

1906 – Soybeans and soybean cake are first successfully exported from Manchuria to Japan. During 1906 the exports were 16,130 tons of beans and 64,520 tons of cake, and in 1907, 17,359 tons of beans and 26,605 tons of cake. In Japan the bean cake was used as a fertilizer (Maynard 1911; Turner 1914).

1906 – The Karuhorunia Miso Seizo-jo [California Miso Manufacturing Co.] at 262 Brannan St., San Francisco, California, is the earliest known company to make miso in the United States. In a 1906 ad (in Japanese) they describe themselves as manufacturers of Japan miso. To make miso, they must have made koji. So they were the first company in North America to make koji for use in making miso.

Other early Japanese makers of commercial miso and koji in the United States were: Yamane Miso in Sacramento, California (1907) and Kodama Miso Seizo-sho in Los Angeles (1908). Sanyo Shokai, in Melrose (1908, near Alameda); Marumi Miso Seizo-sho in Los Angeles (1913); Fujimoto Co., in San Francisco (1917; Brand: Kanemasa Miso). Norio Co., in San Francisco (1919; Type: Shiro miso = Sweet white miso).

1906 – Soy flour (Metcalf’s Soja Bean Meal) is first made commercially in the United States by Theo Metcalf Co. in Boston, Massachusetts (Winton).

1906 – The term “soja bean meal” is first used to refer to whole soy flour (Winton).

1906 (or 1951) – Quong Hop & Co. of San Francisco is said to have started making fermented tofu. As recently as 1984, the company was making two popular types, sold in glass jars – “Bean Cake (Fu-Yu)” and Pepper Bean Cake (with flakes of hot chili peppers in the brining liquor). Note: Neither we nor the owners of Quong Hop & Co. have been able to find any proof that the company even existed in 1906. The earliest record we have found that they existed is from a 1930 San Francisco City Directory; they are listed as a grocery store at 135 Waverly Place. The earliest records we have found that they made fermented tofu are from two sources: (1) A listing and ad in a 1951 Yearbook; they were at 133 Waverly Place. (2) A listing in the 1951 San Francisco City Directory; their occupation is described simply as “bean cakes.”

1907 Feb. – The first published report of Taylor Fouts' growing of or experiments with soy beans appears in the Indiana (Purdue) Agricultural Experiment Station, Bulletin No. 117. Titled "Results of cooperative tests of varieties of corn, wheat, oats, soy beans and cow peas," by A.T. Wiancko, it describes variety trials conducted in Indiana during 1906. One of the three experimenters in northern Indiana was Taylor Fouts of Camden, Carroll Co. He tested Ito San, Early Brown, and "Soy Bean 12339." Since his yields were significantly lower than those of the other two growers, they were not included in the averages.

1907 April 4 – J.F. Duggar expresses his interest in growing soybeans. Director and Prof. of Agriculture, Experiment Station, Alabama Polytechnic Inst., Auburn, Alabama, he writes Prof. C.V. Piper at USDA requesting late maturing soybeans. He soon becomes one of Alabama’s soybean pioneers, joined in March 1909 for F.D. Stevens, Director of the Canebrake Agric. Exp. Station, Uniontown, Alabama.

1907 May 27 – "Soy Bean Varieties," by Carleton R. Ball is published in USDA Bureau of Plant Industry, Bulletin No. 98. 30 p. This publication started a new system for naming soybeans, giving them common names such as Buckshot, Ogemaw, and Ito San. It first classified and then described all of the 23 known soybeans that had a name, first by color (there were 6 black and 6 yellow varieties), within color by seed size, and within seed size by maturity. This is the earliest document seen which tries to standardize early soybean varietal names/nomenclature to prevent confusion. It also gives a list of 29 synonyms, and of 86 S.P. I. numbers. Four full-page photos show the pods (side view) and seeds (side and front views) of (typically) five soybean varieties.

1907 June 20 – William Morse graduates with a BS in Agriculture (BSA) degree from Cornell University. In the College of Agriculture he did considerable field work on the Agronomy Farm. His thesis was about the impurities of grass and clover seeds.

1907 June 22 – Morse, age 24, goes to work as an “Agrostologist” for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, in the Division of Forage Crops and Diseases, Bureau of Plant Industry in Washington, DC – just at the time the division was planning to expand its research on soybeans. Recommended by Thomas F. Hunt, he was hired by the head of the division, Charles Vancouver Piper (age 40), the first man to see clearly the potential of the soybean in America. Piper was to have an immense influence on the rest of Morse’s life. For the first year, the position paid $900 a year. Morse’s first work included growing and testing soy beans at the Arlington Farm, across the Potomac River in nearby Virginia. Yet until 1931 he was also responsible for research on and writing about other forage crops such as cowpeas, kudzu, velvet beans, etc. Continuing his athletics, he rows with a local crew.

1907 Sept. – The Yogurt Company (located in Battle Creek, Michigan) runs an ad titled “Yogurt: An Invaluable Remedy,” in Good Health magazine, founded and edited by Dr. John Harvey Kellogg. The company is making and selling lactic acid dairy yogurt cultures. “Yogurt cures by driving out the disease-producing germs in the intestinal tract and substituting a harmless species instead. It is easily the most valuable remedy ever discovered for Intestinal Autointoxication.” A package of 4 dozen concentrated capsules sells for $1.00 postpaid. This is the beginning of probiotics in the United States, and Dr. Kellogg, a Seventh-day Adventist physician, is the pioneer.

A 3-page article about the ad, titled “A remarkable discovery,” appears in Naturopath and Herald of Health (New York City). "This new ferment in concentrated form is furnished in this country under the name of 'Yogurt'" (Sept. 1908, p. 269-71).

1907 Nov. 15 – H.A. Morgan of Tennessee first indicates his interest in soy beans. Professor at the University of Tennessee, College of Agriculture and Experiment Station, Knoxville, he writes Mr. H.T. Nielsen, Bureau of Plant Industry, asking for seed cowpea and soy bean varieties. He soon becomes the soy bean pioneer and promoter in Tennessee. On 7 Oct. 1908 he is joined by C.A. Mooers, then B.W. Kilgore, of the same University in Tennessee.

1907 Nov. 26 – C.B. Williams of North Carolina first indicates his interest in soy beans. Director, Agricultural Experiment Station of the North Carolina College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts at Raleigh, he writes Mr. H.T. Nielsen, Bureau of Plant Industry, asking for seed cowpea and soy bean varieties. He soon becomes the soy bean pioneer and promoter in North Carolina, which becomes the first major soy bean growing state in the USA.

1907 – The first large importation of soybeans to Europe (400 to 500 tons) is made by a crusher at Liverpool, England. The beans are shipped from Hankow, China, and delivered at Liverpool at a cost of $50.00 per ton (Piper & Morse 1923, p. 17).

1907Tanzania (German East Africa until 1946). Soybeans are first cultivated.

1907Laos: Earliest document seen that mentions soybean cultivation in Laos (Gagnepain 1907, in French). But there must be much earlier dates reported in native language documents.

1907Antigua and Barbuda: Soybeans are first cultivated experimentally at Antigua. These are also the first soybeans grown in the Lesser Antilles (Agricultural News {Barbados}, 1908 Dec. 26, p. 403).

1907 – Li Yu-ying and Xia Jianzhong (Hsia Chien-chung) establish the Far Eastern Biological Society (also called Biological Society of the Far East; Société biologique de l'Extrême-Orient). Made up of physicians, scholars (men of letters), and businesspeople, this society would seem to have as its principal goal to make known and have used in Europe the pharmaceutical and agricultural products of the Far East [East Asia]. Li has by now done considerable research on the soybean at the Pasteur Institute.

1908 – Kurt Heppe, in his pocket dictionary of terms used in cookery states (p. 313): “Soy – a ketchup of the Soy bean.”

1908 spring – Noah Fouts (born 25 Jan. 1864 in Indiana) and Finis Fouts (pronounced FAI-nus, born 21 Nov. 1866), join Taylor for the first time in planting soybeans. "We ventured drilling soybean with the corn so that our western lambs, to be purchased in September, would have a more balanced ration. My two older brothers took readily to this plan and thereafter grew soybeans as a habit."

1908Mauritius (Ile Maurice). Soybeans are first cultivated (Boname 1910).

1908Congo, Democratic Republic of (DRC, formerly Zaire, 1971-1991, and Belgian Congo, 1908-1960). Soybeans are first cultivated (Engelbeen 1948).

1908 – The first trial shipment of soybeans from Asia to Europe was made in 1908 by Mitsui (a Japanese conglomerate), being sent from Dairen to Liverpool. This was the beginning of a new industry in England, Germany, Denmark and Holland. The major portion of the beans destined for Europe was for the mills at Liverpool and Hull, England; for those at Copenhagen, Denmark, and Rotterdam and Amsterdam, Holland.

1908 Feb. – A cargo of 9,000 tons of soybeans is received at Hull, England. The selling price of the beans is $32.00 per ton C.I.F. It is soon found that by importing in cargo lots, the price could be lowered to $4.40. (Piper & Morse 1923, p. 17). Why were soybeans imported to Great Britain? The traditional oilseeds, linseed and cotton seed, were in short supply worldwide; this sent their price skyrocketing. Soybean supplies in Manchuria were abundant after the Sino-Japanese war – which Japan won. So soybeans began to be imported from Manchuria. Most of the oil was used in soaps and the meal in mixed livestock feeds. During the next few years, soybean imports to Europe rose dramatically and crushing began on the Continent.

1908 – Li Yu-ying becomes a vegetarian – and apparently remains one for the rest of his life. He also decides to establish a company to manufacture soybean products (Boorman & Howard 1967, p. 319).

1908 – According to several sources, Li publishes his first book, The Soybean (Le Soja) (Huang Shirong 1908; Yang 1980). Note: We have never seen this book or seen it cataloged. The earliest book we have seen by Li about soy was published in 1910 in Chinese.

1908 – Miso is first made commercially in Hawaii by the Hawaiian Yamajo Soy Company of Honolulu.

1908 or 1909 – After 6 years in France, Li Yu-ying returns to China to raise funds for his tofu company ($400,000 of startup capital). Six months later he returned to France with five workers and (apparently) a large supply of Chinese soybeans and coagulant. In France he and his engineers design modern equipment to transform soybeans into soymilk and then tofu. Li establishes the world’s first soy dairy, named the Tofu Manufacturing Co. (Usine de la Caséo-Sojaïne), located in a large brick building at 46-48 Rue Denis Papin, Les Valées, Colombes (near Asnières), a few miles northwest of Paris. He has two main reasons for establishing this plant: (1) He believes that soya could help China to meet its dietary needs and he wants to develop a model processing plant; (2) He wants to be able to provide work for about 30 worker-students that he brings from China to whom he provides additional intellectual training by setting up evening classes. The young Chinese workers use their wages to pursue their studies in France. They are escorted to France by Qi Rushan (Ch’i Ju-shan), whose elder brother, Qi Zhushan (Ch’I Chu-shan) managed the factory. Within a year, a second round of workers arrived from China to work at the tofu factory.

1908 – This was the age of colonialism and the British Empire. Britain, which owned many colonies in Africa, decided to test, systematically, the ability of soybeans to produce good yields in British colonies. The leaders of the British effort were Sir Alfred Jones and Mr. Grenville Turner.

1908 – Kodama Miso Seizo-sho, at 310 Crocker St. in Los Angeles, California, is the earliest known company to make and sell koji in the United States. They advertise their koji as Shiro Koji (“White Koji”).

As noted above, they also use this koji to make their own commercial miso.

1908 – Argentina: Soybeans are first cultivated, at the Cordoba Experimental Station (Tonnelier 1912; Faura 1933, p. 10).

1908Brazil: Japanese immigrants begin to arrive in Santos (a municipality in the state of Sao Paulo), carrying soybean seeds in their luggage (Hasse & Bueno 1996, p. 198).

1909 March 3 – W.R. Perkins of Mississippi first expresses an interest in growing soy beans. Director, Mississippi Agric. Exp. Station, he writes C.V. Piper of USDA requesting soy bean varieties for testing. He soon becomes the soybean pioneer in Mississippi.

1909 June 16 – “A preliminary note on the varieties of Aspergillus oryzae,” by Teizo Takahashi is published in the Journal of the College of Agriculture, Tokyo Imperial University. He isolated three varieties of molds from three kinds of koji starter (tane koji) from three sources (sake, miso, and shoyu).

1909 Sept.Gambia (British colony). Soybeans are first cultivated (Bulletin of the Imperial Institute) (London).

1909 April – A new U.S. domestic soybean variety is named “Morse.” It is yellow-seeded with an olive-yellow hilum (PI 19186). It was introduced by Frank N. Meyer, USDA agricultural explorer.

1909 Aug. – Soya Flour is first made commercially in England by the Hull Oil Manufacturing Co., Ltd. (Hull, England) (Milling. Aug. 28).

1909 Oct. 4 – Fermented tofu is first referred to in English as “soy bean cheese” (United States Land and Irrigation Exposition).

1909 Oct. 7 – C.V. Piper and H.T. Nielsen publish a 26-page article titled “Soy beans” in Farmers’ Bulletin (USDA) No. 372. This is Piper’s earliest known publication on soy beans. It includes a description of 12 named soy bean varieties, and states: During the past 3 years more than 200 soy bean varieties have been introduced from China, Japan and India; most of these have already been sufficiently tested to give some idea of their value.

1909 – A total of 16,385 bushels of soybeans are produced on 1,629 acres in the United States. These are the first nationwide statistics for soybean production in the USA. The leading states in soybean acreage are (in descending order):

North Carolina 1,249 acres (76.7% of the total).

Tennessee 256 acres.

Ohio 33 acres.

Virginia 29 acres.

Alabama 29 acres.

All other states combined 33 acres.

Source: Bureau of the Census, 1913, p. 626.

1909 – The first soy-based infant formulas and soymilk made from full-fat soy flour are developed in the United States by John Ruhräh, a pediatrician. He reports his results in the Archives of Pediatrics (July 1909).

1909 – India: In the Times of India (March 15, p. 14) a “Prospectus” is published for a company which “has been formed for the purpose of erecting and working oil mills at some suitable place in British India or any of the native states in India and for the general purpose of carrying on the business of seed crushers and nut crushers and manufacturers of linseed, cotton, and other cakes, oil extractors and manufacturers, and makers and manufacturers of cattle food and of artificial manures and fertilizers of every description.” The promoters “have secured the services promoters have secured the services of Mr. Louis Hoffman a specialist in refining oils, of great experience, who has been manager in complete charge of large oil works in Germany, Austria and China for over 15 years.” One of the seeds of greatest interest to Mr. Hoffman is “Soja beans (Soja Hispida Moench).”

1909India: The Indian Trade Journal (July 29, p. 136-38) publishes an excellent, detailed review (by Mr. Burhill) of the many places in India where the soybean is being cultivated, and its various names in each place.

1909Ghana (British colony). Soybeans are first cultivated (Mercer-Quarshie 1975).

1909Kenya (British colony). Soybeans are first cultivated (Bulletin of the Imperial Institute) (London).

1909Tunisia. Soybeans are first cultivated (Itie 1910).

1909 – Turkey: Soya bean products (soya-bean oil) are first reported in Turkey (Carson 1909, p. 28).

1909 – Imports of soy sauce to Canada from Japan: About 250,200 liters of Japanese-style soy sauce (shoyu) are imported to Vancouver, BC, where an estimated 8,000 Japanese live (Yada 1910); they consume all or almost all of it. The best selling brand is Kikkoman (Yada 1912).

1909 – The earliest known statistics for soybean area and production in Korea are as follows: The area cultivated rose dramatically from 280,090 cho in 1909 to a peak of 375,340 cho in 1912 (1 cho = 2.451 acres). Production also rose sharply from 1,533,027 koku in 1909 to 2,452,203 koku in 1912 (1 koku = 180 liters or 47.6 gallons) (Bulletin Economique de l'Indochine {Hanoi}, March/April 1915, p. 260).

1909Dominica: Soybeans are first grown successfully, at the Botanic Station (Imperial Commissioner, p. 5).

1910Grenada: Soybeans are first grown experimentally (Interim Report 1914, p. 1-3).

1910Montserrat: Soybeans are first grown on the experimental plots at the Botanic Station (Imperial Commissioner 1912, p. 15-16).

1910St. Kitts and Nevis: Soybeans are first grown experimentally at the Botanic Station (Imperial Commissioner 1911, p. 29).

1910 March 10 – Henry Sagnier in Le soja et ses produits states: The soybean was a curiosity in Europe until 2-3 years ago, when large amounts started to be imported. The prince A. d'Arenberg, president of the Suez Canal Society, told the National Society of Agriculture, that prior to 1908 no soybeans had passed through the Suez Canal, yet in that year 35,000 tons passed through it. It seems that the new commerce has been stimulated by the expansion of the crop in Manchuria and Korea, under Japanese influence. Most of the imports have gone to England and northern Europe.

1910 MarchQuebec: Soybeans are first cultivated in this province (Dimmock & Kirk 1934).

1910 April 22 – The earliest known reference to the use of soy oil in margarine in Europe appeared in England, where the Daily Dispatch of 22 April 1910 reported that soy oil had enjoyed "striking success" as a substitute for coconut oil in the manufacture of margarine; Messrs. Bibby & Sons of Liverpool were selling large quantities of soy oil to margarine makers on the continent.

1910 Sept. – More than half of all soy sauce now exported from Japan is Kikkoman brand shoyu. It has been “chiefly instrumental in making Japanese soy known and appreciated in foreign countries.

“The ‘Kikkoman’ firm owns at present six soy breweries, with a total of 4,200 hands and eight sets of boilers and steam engines. The yearly output is about 11,800,000 gallons, of which 2,800,000 gallons are exported to foreign countries, the principal destinations being Honolulu, Portland, San Francisco, Seattle, Los Angeles, Tacoma, Denver, Chicago, London, Paris, Berlin, Vienna, and China ports” (Japan’s Industries… 1910, p. 163-65).

1910 Sept. – The first "Soybean day" in Indiana is held at Taylor Fouts' farm – sponsored by the Purdue agricultural extension department and the Carroll County agent. "It proved quite a help in creating interest in the crop. Report of this demonstration reached Illinois and a few days later in drove two 'suckers' – Chas. L. Meharry and Wm. Riegel, all the way from Tolono." They soon became close friends and soybean pioneers in Illinois.

1910 Dec. 31 – C.V. Piper and W.J. Morse publish “The soy bean: History, varieties, and field studies,” an 84 page article in USDA Bureau of Plant Industry Bulletin No. 197. The earliest publication seen written jointly by Piper and Morse, and the earliest document seen written by or about Morse in connection with soybeans, it also the most important document ever published on early soybean varieties, and early soybean history, in the United States. However it contains no mention of food uses.

1910 – The world's first soy dairy, and Europe's earliest known commercial soyfoods manufacturer named Caséo-Sojaïne, is founded by Li Yu-ying, a remarkable Chinese citizen, scientist, biologist, engineer and soyfoods pioneer, at 46-48 Rue Denis Papin, Les Vallées, Colombes (near Asnières), a few miles northwest of Paris. In December 1910 he applies for the world's first soymilk patents (British Patents No. 30,275 and 30,351). The first patent is titled "Vegetable milk and its derivatives" and the second concerns fermented soymilk. He is issued both patents in Feb. 1912. The first patent is packed with original ideas, such as French-style cheeses: "For obtaining fermented cheese such as roquefort, parmesan [Parmesan], romatour [Rahmatour; Bavarian cream cheese], camambert [Camembert], and gruyere, suitable ferments are employed." This patent also calls for the world’s first industrial soy protein isolate, called Sojalithe, after its counterpart, Galalith, made from milk protein. Li notes that Sojalithe could be used as an ivory substitute.

The idea of making a yogurt from soymilk is first conceived of by Li Yu-ying in late 1910 or early 1911. In his soymilk patent he stated: "For the fermented milk, the special ferment termed 'sojabacille' is employed or other ferments used for obtaining fermented milks – kephir, yoghourt, koumiss, maya bulgare, and the like..." His patent (No. 30,275) was issued in 1912.

Also, on Dec. 27, he applied for two French patents, No. 424,124 concerning soy flour and its derivatives, and No. 424,125 concerning food products and condiments made from the soybean. He was issued both patents on 5 May 1911.

1910 – Li’s first major book, Ta Tou: Le Soja (The Soybean) is published in Paris by the Far Eastern Biological Society (Société biologique de l'Extrême-Orient; 66 pages). It is written entirely in Chinese.

1910Hotel St. Francis: Book of Recipes and Model Menus. L’Art Culinaire, by the legendary Victor Hirtzler, a native of France and one of America’s first “celebrity chefs, is published. He was chef of the Hotel St. Francis in San Francisco from 1904 (the year the hotel was built) until 1926. The lavish hotel was a success right from the start. It "was the best known hotel in San Francisco and probably the best known west of Chicago" [Illinois]. “If the hotel was a grand theater, Victor was its greatest actor.” Worcestershire sauce (called simply “Worcestershire,” as in “a dash of Worcestershire,” in 8 recipes) is used as an ingredient in a surprising 20 recipes in this cookbook – thus clearly showing its standing as a highly respected sauce and ingredient in the USA.

1910 – Two Japanese tofu shops are now making and selling tofu in Vancouver, BC, Canada. Unfortunately the names and addresses of the shops are unknown (Nichi-Bei Nenkan [Japanese-American Yearbook], 1910, p. 224).

1910 – Soya bean “production of the French possessions in Asia, of Asia Minor [which is now the large eastern part of Turkey], and of West Africa is said to be neither large nor promising enough to be of much account for export” (Times {London}, July 19, p. 63).

1910 – Japan forcibly annexes Korea as a province called Chōsen. Japan will continue to exercise rather harsh control over Korea until 1945, including importing a large percentage of the soybeans grown in Korea.

1910Malawi (British protectorate named Nyasaland from 1891 to 1964). Soybeans are first cultivated (Bulletin of the Imperial Institute) (London).

1910Nigeria (British colony). Soybeans are first cultivated. (Bulletin of the Imperial Institute) (London).

1910Sierra Leone (Allied with Britain; haven for freed British slaves since 1787). Soybeans are first cultivated (L’Economiste Francais 2009 Apr 9; Wall Street Journal 1910 Apr 16).

1910 March – Zambia (British colony; Northern Rhodesia until 1964). Soybeans are first cultivated (Bulletin of the Imperial Institute) (London).

1910 – Frank N. Meyer (in the Republic of Georgia), in a letter to David Fairchild of the USDA, reports (p. 949-50) that he discovered a commercial “soy coffee” made by a firm called “Argot” at the Sta. Quirili on the railroad from Batoum [probably Batumi, formerly Batum, a city and seaport on the Black Sea] to Tiflis [Tbilisi or T'bilisi, capital of the Republic of Georgia]. This is one of the world’s earliest known commercial soy coffees and the earliest known commercial soy product made in Central Asia.

1910 – New Zealand: Soybeans are first cultivated at Tauranga (Clifton 1911).

1911 May 15 – Li Yu-ying serves his vegetarian ham (jambon végétal), soy cheese (fromage de Soya), soy preserves (confitures de Soya, such as crème de marron), soy bread (pain de Soya), etc. at the annual lunch of France’s national Society for Acclimatization (Société d’Acclimatation) in keeping with its tradition of introducing new foods from little-known plants (Bulletin de la Societe d'Acclimatation 1911, p. 765-67; Bois 1927, p. 126).

1911 June – Li Yu-ying is making and selling tofu, and by August 1911 he has added smoked tofu, pressed tofu sheets, fermented tofu cheese (in Gruyere, Roquefort, and Camembert flavors), and soymilk.

Li has also developed and is selling the world’s earliest known commercial lactic fermented soymilk. But we cannot be sure exactly what kind of fermented soymilk product it was. Yogurt? Kefir? Koumiss? Nor do we know the actual French-language name of the product.

1911 Aug. 22 – In a letter to his superior R.A. Oakley, Morse describes his plans to visit the state experiment stations in North Carolina, then Urbana, Illinois, then Lafayette, Indiana [Purdue] on behalf of soybeans. His first such trip was apparently to Florida, Alabama and South Carolina. In Monetta, South Carolina, Joseph M. Johnson was an early soybean pioneer.

1911 Sept. – From Sept. 1911 to April 1912 Li collaborates with Mr. L. Grandvoinnet (a French agricultural engineer who works with Li at his tofu plant), to write a series of eight articles titled “The Soybean” (Le Soja), published in consecutive issues of the periodical L’Agriculture Pratique des Pays Chauds (Bulletin du Jardin Colonial). This series is both an expansion and a reworking of the ideas presented in Li’s Chinese-language book of 1910, for these articles are now intended to be read by Frenchmen rather than Chinese.

1911 – Ohta Tofu-ten (Ota Tofu Shop) is now making tofu at 266 Davis St., Portland, Oregon. As of 2013 Ota Family Tofu is still making tofu in Portland, Oregon, making it the oldest existing tofu maker in the United States.

1911 – Dr. C.V. Piper travels to India and, among other things, sends back to the United States 108 varieties of soybeans from different parts of the country.

1911St. Lucia: Soybeans are first grown experimentally at the Experiment Station (Imperial Commissioner 1911, p. 21-27).

1911Mexico: Soybeans are first cultivated in Mexico (Khankhoje 1936, p. 14-15).

1911The Soya Bean of Manchuria, by Norman Shaw (32 pages) is filled with early and very valuable statistics based on customs reports. For example: 1860 – The earliest available import returns for Swatow show 379,009 piculs of beancake, valued at $783,762 and 61,154 piculs of soya beans valued at $107,235.

Note: 1 picul = 132.27 pounds weight.

1911 – The Albers Brothers Milling Co. in Seattle, Washington, becomes the first U.S. company to crush imported soybeans.

1911Chinese Materia Medica, by Rev. George A. Stuart, under “Vegetable kingdom: Bean relish (To-tou-shih)” contains a good, early description of fermented black soybeans, published in Shanghai.

1911 Dec.Uruguay: Soybeans are first cultivated (Boerger 1928, p. 102).

1911 – The next commercial soy cheeses in the Western world are developed and made Li Yu-ying. At his modern soyfoods factory near Paris, Li manufactured Fermented Tofu Cheese in Gruyère, Roquefort and Camembert flavors (Scientific American Supplement. 1911. Aug. 19. p. 115).

1911 – Soybeans are cultivated for a second time in the Republic of Georgia. 500 tons are shipped at a price of 1.10 rubles per pood. This price is very remunerative to farmers and, judging from the quantity of seed beans retained for planting, the next crop will amount to 16,000 tons. These are the first statistics given on soybean production in Central Asia. (Heingartner 1911).

1911Madagascar. Soybeans are first cultivated (Delmotte 1919).

1911Cambodia: Earliest document seen that mentions soybean cultivation in Cambodia (Bontoux 1911, in French). But there must be much earlier dates reported in native language documents.

1912 or before – Trinidad and Tobago: Soybeans are first grown experimentally (Imperial Commissioner 1913, p. 2).

1912 Jan. 1 – Background – In China, the Manchu/Qing dynasty is overthrown. The Republic of China is proclaimed by Sun Yat-sen. But a battle for control of the Republic immediately begins. The period of warlords and the military soon follows and lasts until 1949.

1912 March 3 – The term “powder” is first used instead of “flour” to refer to roasted whole soy flour – by Nestor Bergey in a British patent.

1912 Oct. – The world’s 2nd earliest known commercial lactic fermented soymilk is made and sold by the Solac Company (Synthetic Milk Syndicate), 221, Tottenham Court-road, London W., England. Also: Liverpool, England. The product is made by Goessel's patented method. “By introducing a lactic culture of a selective strain at a certain stage of its production, the necessary biological activity is given to the product” (Lancet 1912, Oct. 19, p. 1095; Lancet 1915, Dec. 4, p. 1263-64).

1912 – The first reported use of soy oil in margarine in the United States was in 1912, when 321 tonnes (708,000 lb) were used. In 5 years, by 1917, this amount had increased almost 10-fold, to 3,000 tonnes (6,614,000 lb), yet this was only 2.5% of all oils and fats used in margarine that year and much less than oleo oil (38% of the total), cottonseed oil (25%), neutral lard (17%), and peanut oil (4%).

1912Tahuli or tahuri, fermented tofu made in the Philippines, is first described by Gibbs and Agcaoili.

1912 – Dr. Ryoji Nakazawa, the great Japanese microbiologist, is the first Japanese to study tempeh. He asks a person from Southeast Asia to bring him samples of tempeh and oncom (ontjom, made from peanut presscake); he analyzes their microorganisms. He was working at the Taiwan High Commissioner’s Office Central Research Laboratory at the time.

1912 – The Taisho period (1912-1925) begins in Japan. As new railway lines expanded, linking natto’s homeland in the northeast provinces with the capital at Tokyo, large-scale production and distribution increased – but so did the problems of temperature control, contamination, and product failure.

1912 – Dr. Shinsuke Muramatsu of the Morioka College of Agriculture publishes “On the Preparation of Natto” in English. He found that three Bacillus species or strains produced fine natto with strong viscosity and good aroma at 45°C, but that Bacillus No. 1 produced the best product; he recommended its use as a pure culture. He concluded by giving the first nutritional analysis of fresh natto and of natto that was several days old. Soon Dr. Muramatsu started producing his “College Natto” at the College of Agriculture. His students helped to make and sell it, as a source of income, and it became very popular.

1912 – The Natto Manufacturers Association of Tokyo is founded by six local natto makers.

1912 – A full-page ad by The Ohmiya Co. of San Francisco (in Nichi-Bei Nenkan [Japanese-American Yearbook] No. 8) proclaims that the company is selling irimame [roasted soybeans / soynuts]. This is the earliest document seen showing that roasted soybeans are now available in North America; they were probably imported from Japan.

1912 – India: The Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI) at Pusa publishes its first research on soybeans – obtained from Nagpur. The poor yield (576 lb/acre) was “not sufficient to pay for the cultivation and for the occupation of the land for two seasons” (Report of the Agricultural Research Institute and College, Pusa. For the year 1910-11, p. 20-25).

1912 – India: A letter to the Times of India by K.H. Vakil suggests for the first time the manufacture of “vegetable ghee.” He recommends the use of cotton seed oil. Soy is not mentioned.

1912Sudan (Part of Anglo-Egyptian Sudan from 1899 to 1956). Soybeans are first cultivated (Kaltenbach 1936, Aug).

1912Turkistan / Turkestan: Soybean varieties are introduced to the USA from Chinese Turkestan. They were probably being cultivated there at the time (USDA Bureau of Plant Industry, Inventory No. 28. See #38102-38104).

1913 – Imports of soya cake. Canada begins importing small amounts of soya cake and soya beans from Asia, continuing until 1917 (International Institute of Agriculture, 1918).

1913 – Indonesia: The Netherland Indies [Dutch-East Indies] is importing 2.0 million bushels a year of soybeans (Burtis 1950, p. 68). Note: 36.75 bushels = 1 metric ton.

1913 June 13 – Li Yu-ying is issued the first U.S. soymilk patent (No. 1,064,841), titled "Method of manufacturing products from soja." He filed the application on 10 Oct. 1911.

1913Uganda. Soybeans are first cultivated (Rubaihayo 1969).

1913 – Venezuela: Soybeans are first cultivated (Sampson 1936, p. 85, 201).

1914 Jan. 2 – Fermented black soybeans are first mentioned in German, by Clemens Grimme. They are called Tao-tche, but are confused with Japanese natto.

1914 Dec. 4 – Morse writes Prof. Piper: “During my trip to the soy bean district of eastern North Carolina this past fall, I learned that the Southern Cotton Oil Mill, of Elizabeth City, North Carolina, conducted experiments in the fall of 1913 with soy beans as an oil proposition… No doubt by getting in touch with the mill at Elizabeth City, Mr. Dillon could obtain complete information on the experiment.”

1914 June 8 – An article in the Times (London, p. 22) titled “Worcester: The making of a famous sauce,” states: “Before being bottled, the sauce is allowed to mature in barrels in the cellars of the factory." "Seventy years ago [i.e., 1844] the output of sauce was very limited and was practically all consumed locally. At that time, and for twenty years afterwards, the bottles were filled from a jug carried in the hand.”

1914 Aug.Cameroon. Soybeans are first cultivated (Grimme 1920).

1914 Aug. – World War I begins. The US enters quite late – in April 1917.

1914 Oct. 1 – Sam Jordan. A farm advisor in Pettis County. Missouri, first appears as a fan soybeans. In a letter to the Missouri Farmer. He praises their ability to stand drought. "For a number of years I advocated very strenuously the growing of cow peas or soy beans between the rows of the corn.”

1914 – Taylor Fouts buys an old pioneer-type elevator at Camden. It is remodeled and equipped with a recleaning and grading mill for preparation and storage of the growing amount of seed beans. “This was perhaps the first soybean elevator devoted exclusively to the handling and shipping of soybeans in the U.S.”

1914 – The term “hamanatto” is first used to refer to Japanese fermented black soybeans, by U.S. Dept. of Treasury. These soybeans, which are now being imported into San Francisco, are classified as “prepared beans” and therefore subject to an import duty.

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