Workers label and pack cans for distribution, c. 1905

Workers label and pack cans for distribution, c. 1905

Think back on some of your favorite family meals over the years and it’s likely that Campbell Soup Company played a role during those important moments around the table. An American icon, Campbell recently celebrated its 150th anniversary.

From tomato soup and grilled cheese on a cold day to green bean casserole, generations of home cooks have made Campbell food, snacks and recipes part of their daily and holiday food traditions.

Here are some of the most interesting facts about Campbell’s place in American culture:

• Campbell Soup Company was founded four years after the Civil War ended in 1869 by a fruit merchant and an icebox manufacturer. By the turn of the century, the company flourished as a result of several innovations -- including Dr. John T. Dorrance’s invention of condensed soup, which made nutritious soup more affordable to millions of Americans at just 10 cents per can.

• Campbell food was served during WWI and WWII, and during the Apollo missions, offering troops and astronauts comfort and a taste of home.

• The Green Bean Casserole, invented by Campbell employee Dorcas Reilly in 1955, was served at 20 million dinners this past Thanksgiving.

• Campbell’s tomato growers harvest over 1.5 billion pounds of tomatoes per year. Eighty percent of Campbell’s tomato growers have worked with the company for more than two decades.

• Over the years, the company has grown to include Pepperidge Farm cookies, Goldfish crackers, Snyder’s of Hanover pretzels, Lance sandwich crackers, V8 beverages and Swanson broths.

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