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Beecher, Catharine E. and Harriet Beecher Stowe. The American Woman’s Home: Or, principles of domestic science; being a guide to the formation and maintenance of economical healthful, beautiful, and Christian homes. New York. 1869. Title page.

In 1885, the Commercial Manufacturing Company went out of business. Making matters worse for the surviving producers, the Federal Margarine Act of 1886 imposed a tax of two cents per pound on oleo, as well as annual licensing fees on manufacturers, wholesalers, and retailers, causing margarine sales to plummet. As it turned out, these laws were only the first skirmishes of an eighty-year lobbying campaign by the dairy industry in what came to be known as the “Butter Wars.”