Wisconsin History Day By Day

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A Fortune Given Away

Stephen Moulton Babcock

Read More About It

"Wisconsin Inventors" Wisconsin Historical Society

"Wisconsin Blue Book" 1958



Interesting Fact:

It was estimated in 1900 that Babcock's milk tester was saving $800,000 a year in Wisconsin because it eliminated waste and fraud.

Study Questions:

  • Why did Babcock refuse to patent the milk tester?
  • Why was the milk tester so important?
  • Where was Babcock working when he invented the milk tester?

    U.S. historical events that occurred on March 27:

    1964: A major earthquake hits Alaska, killing 114 people.

  • March 27

    March 27, 1901: Scientist Stephen M. Babcock received a medal from the Wisconsin legislature for his milk tester, a device which measured the fat content of milk. The invention was widely acclaimed and won grand prizes at the Paris and St. Louis expositions. Babcock refused to patent the device.

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