More than 70 years ago, in a little shop in London an electrician named James Spratt conducted experiments which led to the production of Spratt's Patent—a scientifically blended dog food. It was the first attempt to lift the dog out of the class of scavenger which he had occupied from caveman times. The market was untouched, and in those early days, Spratt's Patent secured a bull-dog grip on it that it has never relinquished, despite the fact that in the past seventy years many competitors have tried to wrest the leadership from them. (1920)
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The English dog biscuit appears to be a nineteenth-century innovation: "With this may be joined farinaceous and vegetable articles — oat-meal, fine-pollard, dog-biscuit, potatoes, carrots, parsnips" (1827); "being in the neighbourhood of Maidenhead, I inspected Mr. Smith's dog-biscuit manufactory, and was surprised to find he has been for a long period manufacturing the enormous quantity of five tons a-week !" (1828)
In later years, dog biscuits began to be made of meat products and were sometimes treated as synonymous with dog food. In 1871, an ad appeared in Cassell's Illustrated Almanac for "SLATER'S MEAT BISCUIT FOR DOGS - Contains vegetable substances and about 25 per cent of Prepared Meat. It gives Dogs endurance, and without any other food will keep them in fine working condition."
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