Marcellus Gilmore Edson

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Marcellus Gilmore Edson
Born (1849-02-07)February 7, 1849
Bedford, Quebec, Canada
Died March 6, 1940(1940-03-06) (aged 91)
Montreal, Canada

Marcellus Gilmore Edson (February 7, 1849 – March 6, 1940) of Montreal, Quebec[1] was the first person to patent peanut butter, in 1884. Peanut flour already existed. His cooled product had "a consistency like that of butter, lard, or ointment" according to his patent application. He included the mixing of sugar into the paste so as to harden its consistency.[2]

Edson, a chemist (pharmacist), developed the idea of peanut paste as a delicious and nutritious foodstuff for people who could hardly chew on solid food, a not uncommon state back in those days. Peanut paste was initially sold for six cents per pound.[3]


He was born in Bedford, Quebec in 1849.

He was issued with United States patent #306727[4] in 1884. The patent describes a process of milling roasted peanuts until the peanuts reached "a fluid or semi-fluid state."