As baking developed, the ability to effectively store foods stuffs and increasing their duration as longer distances were travelled.[sentence fragment]
Figs were highly traded and fought over during the development of the great trade routes during the 15th to 17th centuries. Christopher Columbus devoted a complete page to what a wonderful time it would be when he would be able to gorge himself on figs in the orient, while Marco Polo described women in association with the beauty of figs. It was also during this period that figs reached America, when the Spanish reached the island of Hispaniola in 1520.
In 1892 James Henry Mitchell, a Florida engineer and inventor, received a patent for a machine that could produce a hollow tube of cookie dough and simultaneously fill it with jam. At the same time, Philadelphia baker and fig lover Charles Roser was developing a recipe for a pastry based on the homemade fig roll likely brought to the US by immigrants from Britain. Roser approached the Cambridgeport, Massachusetts based Kennedy Biscuit Company, who agreed to take on production and sales.
Kennedy Biscuit Company had recently become associated with the New York Biscuit Company, and after merger to form Nabisco, trademarked the product as the Fig Newton.