The Wilsons and UChicago

Thomas E. Wilson helped organize the American Meat Institute, an industry trade association, in 1906. He later served as its President in 1919. In 1923, Wilson provided funding to establish commercial laboratory facilities for the Institute on the campus of the University of Chicago. A new lab was built in 1950 at 939 E. 57th Street to further scientific research and education in the field of livestock production and processing.

Black-and-white photograph of the exterior of the American Meat Institute building at the University of Chicago at 939 E. 57th Street. The building is stone, three-stories, has a wide four-step staircase leading to the central front door. Above the front door the words "American Meat Institute Foundation" are carved in Gothic script.
American Meat Institute building on the campus of the University of Chicago, circa 1950s

University of Chicago Photographic Archive, apf00297, Hanna Holborn Gray Special Collections Research Center, University of Chicago Library.

Photograph by Chicago Architectural Photographing Company.

Black-and-white photograph of an empty laboratory in the American Meat Institute building on the University of Chicago campus. The room includes two lab benches in the center of the room, a bench and hood along one wall, and a cabinet along another wall. Cement floor, exposed brick walls, exposed beams with florescent lighting, and three windows.
American Meat Institute laboratory on the campus of the University of Chicago, circa 1950s

University of Chicago Photographic Archive, apf00298, Hanna Holborn Gray Special Collections Research Center, University of Chicago Library.

Photograph by Chicago Architectural Photographing Company.

Black-and-white photograph of four middle-aged white men in suits looking at scientific equipment set up on a lab bench. A sign above the lab bench reads "Low pressure distillation of fatty acids."
American Meat Institute laboratory on the campus of the University of Chicago, circa 1950s

University of Chicago Photographic Archive, apf00216, Hanna Holborn Gray Special Collections Research Center, University of Chicago Library.

Black-and-white photograph of a middle-aged white man and a young white woman wearing white lab coats looking at a sheet pan of square pie crusts that appear to have just been removed from a small oven.
American Meat Institute laboratory on the campus of the University of Chicago, circa 1950s

University of Chicago Photographic Archive, apf00217, Hanna Holborn Gray Special Collections Research Center, University of Chicago Library.

Photograph by Stephen Deutch.

Press release begins "The following joint statement was issued today by Robert H. Hutchins, President of The University of Chicago, Thomas E. Wilson, Chairman of the Institute Plan Commission of the Institute of American Meat Packers, Robert I. Randolph, President of The Chicago Association of Commerce, Fred W. Sargent, President of the Commercial Club of Chicago, and Elmer T. Stevens, President of The Industrial Club of Chicago: A leader from each of the following fields has been or is being asked to come to Chicago on October 22 to discuss the current situation of the business or businesses with which he is associated: Agriculture, Aviation, Railroads, Iron and Steel, Automobiles, Petroleum, Rubber, Shipping, Merchandising, Communication, General Business..."
Press release for Seventh Conference of Major Industries, 1930. One in a series of meetings held under the auspices of the University of Chicago and the Institute of American Meat Packers.

University of Chicago. Office of the President. Hutchins Administration. Records, Box 139, Folder 7, Hanna Holborn Gray Special Collections Research Center, University of Chicago Library.

Second page of press release.
Press release for Seventh Conference of Major Industries, 1930
Text begins "The Institute of Meat Packing was established at the University of Chicago in September, 1923, to carry on the program of education and research in the meat packing industry proposed by Thomas E. Wilson and approved by the Institute of American Meat Packers in Convention in October, 1922..."
History of the Institute of Meat Packing at the University of Chicago, up to 1949

University of Chicago. Office of the President. Hutchins Administration. Records, Box 15, Folder 13, Hanna Holborn Gray Special Collections Research Center, University of Chicago Library.

Second page of the history.
History of the Institute of Meat Packing at the University of Chicago, up to 1949
Front cover of booklet with faded salmon-colored paper covers, titled "Research: The New Frontier. A Formal Record of the Dedication of New Laboratories, October 3, 1950. American Meat Institute Foundation, At the University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois."
"Research the New Frontier: A Formal Record of the Dedication of New Laboratories," American Meat Institute, 1950

University of Chicago. Office of the President. Hutchins Administration. Records, Box 15, Folder 13, Hanna Holborn Gray Special Collections Research Center, University of Chicago Library.

Foreword begins "The American Meat Institute Foundation is a not-for-profit corporation, affiliated with and located on the campus of The University of Chicago. It was organized to engage in scientific research and education in the field of livestock production and processing and livestock product utilization, and began operations in 1947..."
"Research the New Frontier: A Formal Record of the Dedication of New Laboratories," American Meat Institute, 1950
Photograph of older Thomas E. Wilson in dark suit standing behind a podium. Text on opposite page is titled "The Foundation - its Origin and Purpose," and is an address by Thomas E. Wilson.
"Research the New Frontier: A Formal Record of the Dedication of New Laboratories," American Meat Institute, 1950
Continued text of Thomas E. Wilson's address. Opposite page is a black-and-white photograph of Wesley Hardenbergh, president of the American Meat Institute and of the Foundation; Laird Bell, dedication speaker and chairman of the Board of the University of Chicago; and Emery T. Filbey, vice-president emeritus of the University, leaving the new Foundation laboratory building following the dedication.
"Research the New Frontier: A Formal Record of the Dedication of New Laboratories," American Meat Institute, 1950
Continued text of Thomas E. Wilson's address. Opposite page is a black-and-white photograph of the dedication luncheon at the Quadrangle Club. All white men in suits seated at round tables with white tablecloths.
"Research the New Frontier: A Formal Record of the Dedication of New Laboratories," American Meat Institute, 1950
Address by Robert M. Hutchins, Chancellor of the University of Chicago, titled "The Foundation and the University of Chicago." Opposite page is a black-and-white photograph of Hutchins standing behind a podium.
"Research the New Frontier: A Formal Record of the Dedication of New Laboratories," American Meat Institute, 1950

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Title of article is "The Educated Sausage." Article begins "American Meat Institute Foundation research scientists at the University of Chicago have developed a pure starter culture which will enable sausage makers to produce a uniform, tangy-flavored summer sausage in one-third of the customary processing time...." Large black-and-white photograph depicts young white man in white lab coat making sausage.
"Outlook" magazine article on the American Meat institute, 1957

University of Chicago. Office of the President Kimpton Administration Records, Box 22, Folder 3, Hanna Holborn Gray Special Collections Research Center, University of Chicago Library.

Article titled "AMIF - Research and Roast Beef." Article begins "Ask an average American to look up from his dinner long enough to guess the center of the industry which has provided his steak, chop or roast, and chances are he'll say 'Chicago.'"
"Outlook" magazine article on the American Meat institute, 1957

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Cover of booklet titled "The Research Laboratory of the Institute of American Meat Packers Founded by Thomas E. Wilson at The University of Chicago. A Co-operative Endeavor Between the University and the Institute."
"The Research Laboratory of the Institute of American Meat Packers Founded by Thomas E. Wilson at The University of Chicago," circa 1960

University of Chicago. Office of the President. Hutchins Administration. Records, Box 15, Folder 13, Hanna Holborn Gray Special Collections Research Center, University of Chicago Library.

Text begins "For more than ten years the American meat packing industry has enjoyed an affiliation accorded by The University of Chicago. Through this affiliation important education and research activities benefiting that industry, its employees and the consumers of its products have been conducted..."
"The Research Laboratory of the Institute of American Meat Packers Founded by Thomas E. Wilson at The University of Chicago," circa 1960

View the full publication.