Otto Frederick Hunziker
Swiss-American Dairy Pioneer
|Born||25 December 1873|
|Died||16 November 1959|
La Grange, Illinois, United States
|Alma mater||Cornell University|
|Known for||Work on butter processing and condensed milk|
|Fields||Dairy, Dairy product|
Otto Frederick Hunziker (25 December 1873 - 16 November 1959) was a pioneer in the American and international dairy industry, as both an educator and a technical innovator. Hunziker was born and raised in Switzerland, emigrated to the U.S., and studied at Cornell University. He started and developed the dairy program at Purdue University when such programs were at their infancy. At this same time, Hunziker was heavily involved with the development of the American Dairy Science Association (ADSA) and the standardization and improvement of many dairy tests and processes. Hunziker wrote several of the leading dairy processing texts, which continue to be cited. After leaving Purdue University, Hunziker managed research and operations at a large, national condensary, continued to drive ADSA's standardization and publishing efforts, represented the U.S. at international dairy congresses, and facilitated dairy industry improvements across the globe.
Otto Frederick Hunziker was born in Zürich, Switzerland, on 25 December 1873 to Karl Otto and Luise (Pupikofer) Hunziker. Otto's siblings were Karl Rudolf (born 5 February 1870, Zürich), Barbara Luise (17 June 1871 - 16 October 1871), and Marie Julie (23 July 1872 - 30 June 1938). Hunziker spent many early years in Goldbach, Switzerland, where his father was a pastor, professor, and member of the canton parliament. Otto attended the two-year course of studies at Strickhof Agricultural College in Zürich, graduating at age 19. In 1893, Otto Frederick Hunziker emigrated to the United States.
During this time period, significant new development in dairy processing technology was occurring on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean. In 1890, Stephen Babcock published specifications for the Babcock test for milk fat content. In 1892, Dr. Niklaus Gerber acquired a Swiss patent on the Gerber method for analyzing fat content in milk. Dr. Gerber was based in Zürich, had studied at the University of Zürich, and worked for two years at the Swiss-American Milk Company in Little Falls, New York. Hunziker would spend a substantial amount of time studying and improving these analytic methods.
In the United States, Hunziker worked for two years as a laborer on a dairy farm near Attleboro, Massachusetts. To improve his English and commercial skills, he studied at Bryant and Stratton Business College (now Bryant University), Providence, Rhode Island in 1896. He returned to Switzerland briefly in 1898 before returning to receive a B.S. Agriculture in 1900 and M.S.A. in 1901 from Cornell University. He served as an assistant in charge of dairy bacteriology at Cornell University until 1902, when he equipped and operated a dairy manufacturing research laboratory for the Scranton Condensed Milk Company in Ellicottville, New York. Otto Frederick married Florence Belle Burne on 10 April 1905 in Portville, Cattaraugus County, New York.
In 1905 Hunziker accepted a position at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana as head of Purdue's Dairy Department. Dairy departments were relatively new at American colleges. (The first dairy school in the U.S. was created at the University of Wisconsin in 1890.) Hunziker led Purdue's dairy department through significant growth.
In the summer of 1906, Hunziker was among 18 teachers and investigators meeting at the University of Illinois, Urbana, to found what was then known as National Association of Dairy Instructors and Investigators. (The following year, this association changed its name to "Official Dairy Instructors' Association" and, in 1916, changed its name to "American Dairy Science Association" (ADSA).) From 1910 to 1926, Hunziker chaired ADSA's Committee on Official Methods of Testing Milk and Cream for Butterfat. In 1911, this committee met in Washington, D.C. with the U.S. Bureau of Dairying, the U.S. Bureau of Standards and manufacturers of glassware. Standard specifications for Babcock glassware were published as a result of this meeting. Hunziker actively pursued numerous improvements to the testing methodology, which improved the quality and safety of dairy products. Hunziker was the third president of ADSA from 1910 through 1911. During Hunziker's presidency, ADSA also: created a national score card for scoring dairies; standardized dairy judging contests; secured scholarships for student contests; improved national milk standards; developed ties with breed associations; and, provided fora for industry discussions on dairy instruction and extension services.
Apart from application of improved pedagogy and scientific methodology, Hunziker oversaw planning and construction of Smith Hall, the building which thereafter housed Purdue's dairy manufacturing group, extension service, and creamery. While at Purdue, he published over 50 bulletins, leaflets, and scientific treatises addressing dairy farm and plant problems. In 1917, Hunziker left Purdue to manage manufacturing and research at the Blue Valley Creamery Company in Chicago, Illinois.
Hunziker wrote dairy articles and textbooks used throughout the world, developed dairy curricula, advocated for dairy laws, and developed standard testing methodology. In particular, Hunziker authored The Butter Industry, Prepared for Factory, School and Laboratory, a well-known text in the industry that enjoyed at least three editions (1920, 1927, 1940). A book that Hunziker originally self-published in 1914, "Condensed Milk and Milk Powder: Prepared for the Use of Milk Condenseries, Dairy Students and Pure Food Departments", was republished in a seventh edition in October 2007 by Cartwright Press. According to one book review: "The popularity of this book may be judged by the fact that this is the fourth edition, the three previous editions having long since been exhausted. The book is the most important contribution on the condensed milk and milk powder industry. It should be in the library of the teacher, the student or factory man interested in any phase of the condensed milk and milk powder industry." Both books are listed by Cornell University as "Core Historical Literature of Agriculture". In the 1920s, Hunziker initiated a "dairy school over the air"--a radio program on WGN for which dairy experts were invited to discuss various issues. Hunziker was a director of the National Dairy Council and is listed in The Ten Master Minds of Dairying. When the World's Dairy Congress was held in the U.S. in 1923, the U.S. Department of Agriculture selected Hunziker to head the industry and economics program. He later represented the United States at World Dairy Congresses in London, 1928; Copenhagen, 1931; Berlin, 1937; Stockholm, 1949; and The Hague, 1953. He obtained several United States patents, including: US 1543853, Hunziker, O F, "Apparatus for deodorizing cream", published 1925-06-30 and US 1723860, Hunziker, O F, "Process for treating milk and its products", published 1929-08-06 . At Blue Valley, Hunziker established a research program for 22 creameries and two milk plants. In 1932, Purdue University bestowed an honorary doctoral degree in science. He retired from Blue Valley Creamery in 1939 to work as a consultant. In 1942, O F Hunziker was honored with the first ADSA honorary life membership. Hunziker was awarded numerous international honors for his work, including:
All three of Hunziker's sons attended Purdue University. Children of Otto and Florence were:
Otto (Sr.) was on the board of the La Grange First Methodist Church and the La Grange Federal Savings and Loan Association as well as active in the Civic Club, Kiwanis Club, and American-Swiss Chamber of Commerce. Hobbies included water sports, mountain climbing, ice skating and gardening.
Otto Frederick Hunziker died on 16 November 1959 in La Grange, Illinois. A portrait of Hunziker and plaque hang in Purdue's Smith Hall. In 1964, 283 leaders in the dairy industry were asked to name contributors most significantly shaping the dairy industry. Hunziker was listed third, ahead of such well-known industry luminaries as Gail Borden. He was also inducted into the National Dairy Shrine as a "pioneer".
Hunziker, Otto Frederick, manag. manufacturing dept. and dir. research lab., Blue Valley Creamery Co., Chicago, Ill. Asst. path. bact. and chg. dairy bact., Cornell Univ., 1901-1902; milk expert, Scranton Condensed Milk Co., Ellicottville and Springville, N. Y., 1902-1905; instr. dairying, Purdue Univ., 1905-1906; assoc. prof., 1906-1907; prof. and chief dairy dept., 1907-1917; present position, 1917-. Pres. Amer. Assoc. Dairy Sci., 1910-1912; mem. exec. com., Ind. State Dairy Assoc., Ind Manufacturers of Dairy Products; dir. Nat. Dairy Council. Adv. to condensed milk factories in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Germany, Japan, 1909-1917. Del. from Amer. Assoc. Dairy Sci. and U. S. Dept. Agr. to Intern. Dairy Congress, Stockholm, Sweden, 1911. Auth.: Manufacture of Condensed Milk and Milk Powder, 1914, rev. ed., 1918 and 1920; The Butter Industry, 1920. Assoc. ed., Dairy License [sic] Journal.--b. Zurich, Switzerland, Dec. 25, 1873 (naturalized 1904); s. Otto Carl [sic] and Louise (Pupikofer) H.; reared in country; m. Florence Belle Burne, 1905; c. Thelma Belle, [*235] Florence Louise, Karl Otto, Walter Burne, Isabelle Mary, Otto F. Jr. Grad. Agr. Coll., Zurich, 1892; Bryant and Stratton Business Coll., Providence, R. I. 1896; B.S., Cornell Univ., 1900; M.S., 1901. Sigma Xi; Alpha Zeta; Gamma Alpha.
A number of other individuals, some of who became well known in the dairy industry in subsequent years were associated with the department in teaching, research or extension during this period. * * * Otto F. Hunziker, (Cornell 1900) was Experiment Station Bacteriologist for about two years after his graduation. During that time he assisted in the teaching of dairy bacteriology and published Bulletin 203, The Care and Handling of Milk. Hunziker later joined the staff of Purdue University and became well known through his books on the manufacture of dairy products.
Otto F. Hunziker graduated from Cornell in 1900 and joined the staff as a dairy bacteriologist for a period of about 2 years. He wrote Bulletin 197, "Investigations Concerning the Germicidal Action in Cow's Milk", and Bulletin 203, "The Care and Handling of Milk." Hunziker then joined the faculty of Purdue University and became widely known as a teacher and an author of two textbooks, The Butter Industry, and Condensed Milk and Milk Powder. Later, the major part of his career was in private industry.
The first Head of the Dairy Husbandry Department and a charter member of ADSA was O.F. Hunziker (1905-1917).
Stephen Babcock established the first 'Dairy School' in the nation in 1890.
With the vision and leadership of Otto F. Hunziker, dairy science and technology evolved at Purdue University. In 1905 Purdue experienced a sharp growth in its agricultural programs. Hunziker seized upon the opportunities to serve this growing agricultural sector. He identified needs for developing educational programs to better educate dairymen and needs for instituting adequate dairy laws for the protection of the dairy industry. His scientific treatises dealt with the solution of problems on dairy farms and in dairy plants. His research established accuracy of glassware and provided standard methods for the Babcock fat test of milk and cream. He planned Smith Hall and adjacent creamery which was built in 1913. A champion for the dairy industry, he won recognition in the fields of butter making, condensed milk and dried milk. He incorporated scientific principles into every step of the butter-making process. His textbooks were used by agricultural universities in dairy courses throughout the United States and in other dairy countries.From the abstract: "During the organizational year of the American Dairy Science Association, Otto F. Hunziker led the dairy program at Purdue University. A charter member of ADSA and its third president, Dr. Hunziker's brilliant career as a scientist, teacher and author is recognized throughout the world. At Purdue he provided leadership in developing educational programs to better educate dairymen. His research programs established the accuracy of glassware and provided standard methods for the Babcock fat test of milk and cream. He planned Smith Hall, which was built in 1913 to provide facilities for teaching, research and extension work."
Prof. O. F. Hunziker, one of the leading dairy authorities of the country, has resigned his position as chief of the dairy department of Purdue University, Indiana, to take up work with the Blue Valley Creamery Company. He was granted a year's leave of absence beginning last October to study commercial butter making and in connection with this work because [sic] associated with this company. He will be manager of the manufacturing department of all their factories and will superintend the investigations made in the dairy laboratory. Professor Hunziker is the author of a number of dairy book and bulletins and is now preparing the manuscript for a text book on creamery butter making. His previous experience and training will be of great value to him in his new work.
During the past few months, Prof. O. F. Hunziker, of the Dairy Department of the Purdue School of Agriculture has been investigating the national and state standards of condensed milk. As a result of his study of the subject, he finds the present standards are not practical, as no milk condensary can, under all conditions and at all seasons of the year, put into its product the per cent of solids called for in the requirements for unsweetened condensed milk. These findings are the outcome of Prof. Hunziker's professional and business experiences, and therefore have great weight. Reports from every reputable milk condensing company in the country have been thoroughly examined and careful experiments carried on by Professor Hunziker in Indiana at the plant of the Condensed Milk Company of Sheridan before any announcement as to this unsatisfactory standard was made. The question of revising the present standard for condensed milk was taken up by the committee on food standards of the National Association of Dairy Instructors and Investigators, at its meeting at Mackinac Island, Mich., Aug. 4-7, and it is hoped that every effort will be put forth, through the proper channels, to induce the government to modify the standard now in use. This standard calls for not less than 28 per cent of milk solids of which not less than 27.5 per cent must be fat. There is no doubt but that a more specific attainable requirement than this will be welcomed by both producer and consumer. Pacific Coast milk producers are especially interested in this question, and a government expert has given it a thorough investigation.
His visit is looked forward to by those interested in dairying with very much interest as the professor is the recognised leading dairy scientist of to-day, and his text books are read and used by all those engaged in the manufacture of dairy products throughout the world, and the knowledge that he has been able to impart has been responsible for many of the improvement in the quality of those products.
Number ten is a products man, Otto F. Hunziker. His great research work in pushing back the horizon of present knowledge in this field has given him his place.
Prof. Otto F. Hunziker, dairy expert and author, returned yesterday to his home in LaGrange after an extended tour of Australia and New Zealand, where he lectured in principal cities on dairying and allied interests. *** He has been invited to return there next year to present his report of the studies made on the tour, and in June he will address the World Dairy congress in London. Prof. Hunziker, who is head of the LaGrange board of health, is author of several books on milk and butter production, and was for 14 years professor of dairying and head of the dairy department at Purdue university.
President Elliott presented for the approval of the Board of Trustees the recommendation of a special committee of the Faculty that honorary degrees be conferred as follows: The degree of Doctor of Science upon Otto Frederick Hunziker
Prof. O. F. Hunziker, world famous dairy expert and research director for a Chicago creamery company, has been awarded the Distinguished Service Medal of the Swiss government. *** The gold medal, awarded only to persons who have performed meritorious service in an outstanding fashion for the dairy industry, has been given to but three other persons since 1886. This is the first time the honor has been conferred upon anyone outside Switzerland. *** Two years ago he received a diploma of merit from Italy. It was presented in connection with the International Exposition of Commerce and Home Industries at Milan. Last year, in recognition of his achievements in scientific research, Hunziker was invited to Australia and New Zealand where he acted as a consultant for dairy officials and organizations.
CHICAGO (AP) -- Otto F. Hunziker, 85, former president of the American Dairy Science Assn., died Sunday. Hunziker, who was born in Switzerland, was professor of dairying and head of the dairying department of Purdue University from 1905 to 1916.