Thursday, January 28, 2016

Never Give Up

Growing up in Alaska in the fifties and sixties, we drank mostly reconstituted evaporated canned milk. My mother insisted that we needed three glasses a day. (Perhaps that's why I don't drink much milk today.) Back then, I didn't gave much thought to the miracle of evaporated milk. Without it, we would have had no milk.


Then I read about Gail Borden, Jr., the journalist in the Texas Territory in the 1820's who coined the phrase, "Remember the Alamo." His greatest achievement was to condense food so it would remain edible for a long time.

"I mean to put a potato into a pillbox, a pumpkin into a tablespoon, and a watermelon into a saucer," he once said.

His ambition intensified into a passion when he observed a great tragedy while sailing home from England. On board ship, he saw children die as a result of drinking contaminated milk. He vowed to dedicate his life to finding a way to make milk safe for human consumption for a long time.

At every opportunity he had already been experimenting on guests, serving them concentrated soups and foods. For the California Gold Rush, he invented the dehydrated meat biscuit.

Through his experiments with his meat biscuits, Borden knew food could be kept fresh over long periods of time if moisture was reduced. He poured a gallon of milk into a kettle and boiled off the water. The experiment failed. The milk tasted burnt.

While visiting a Shaker colony in New York, Borden discovered the solution as he watched them condense maple sugar in a vacuum-sealed pan. Because less heat was required to cause evaporation in a vacuum, the burnt taste was reduced.

Borden finally succeeded, and the U. S. Army placed the first big order for 500 pounds of evaporated milk. Not only did Borden invent the process, but the company he founded became a multi-billion dollar company. He is known as the father of the modern dairy business.

On Borden's tombstone is inscribed, "I tried and failed. I tried again and succeeded."

The Apostle Paul observed in First Corinthians 13:7 that love is the best motivation to success:
Courtesy GoVerse
Borden's heart was touched by the deaths of those children. That motivated him to succeed, and he never gave up.

So, never give up! You are a failure only if you do not keep on trying.

What motivates you to succeed? What do you love enough to keep on trying until you succeed?


  1. What an interesting article and a reminder that love is to be the motivator for all we do in life. Thanks!

  2. Thanks for your comment, Deb. Love is a powerful emotion, thus a powerful motivator. According to Jesus, love for God and our neighbors is the fulfillment of the Law of Moses.