Embossed with: "Mellin's Food Co. Boston, U.S. Small Size"; embossed on bottom: "W13"; lid labelled: "For the Baby // Mellins Food For Infants"
Storage Room 0010
0010-A1-6 Row B
Length 12.0 cm x Diam. 6.0 cm
Lid is rusted
Mellin's Food Company was a maker of Mellin's Food for Infants and Invalids in Boston, Massachusetts.
The company started when the English food chemist Gustav Mellin developed an infant formula in 1866. Mellin's formula was a simplified version of one which had been recently invented by the German chemist Justus von Liebig. It wasn't a total nutritional supplement, the powder was diluted with cow's milk and water and was called a "milk modifier". It was a "soluble, dry extract of wheat, malted barley and bicarbonate of potassium." The formula was advertised with the slogan: "Mellin's Food for Infants and Invalids: The only perfect substitute for Mother's Milk".
By the 1890's Mellin's Food was the most popular of the infant foods sold in the United States. This success was due primarily to aggressive marketing — advertisements for Mellin's often included supposed testimonials from parents that Mellin's had brought their children back from the brink of death.