He is best known for a process of using vacuum evaporator to kill bacteria in fresh milk. Borden called his unique product ‘condensed milk’. He took the patent for a system in 1856.
This process made it possible for Union troops to drink fresh milk during the Civil War - and for southerners and westerners to drink fresh milk after the war.
In 1857 Borden with his partners established a small company to produce his new product. In 1858, his partners sold out their share to Jeremiah Milbank, a New York City financier.
Under the new management, Borden’s Eagle Brand of condensed milk became a fast selling item.
The Civil War was a huge boost to the company, and even after licensing other manufacturers to produce condensed milk, Borden could not keep up with the demand for supplies for troops on both sides of the conflict.
In the 1920s, Borden’s company promoted infant welfare by teaching immigrant mothers that the best way to provide their infants with pure milk was to open a sterilized can of milk rather than buying powdered milk in bulk from a milk station.
In 1919 the company changed its name to the Borden Company and throughout the twentieth century purchased a number of smaller companies to capture supermarket shelf space.
In 1929 the company acquired a small company that made glue from casein, a by-product of skim milk.
Gail Borden Jr. died on January 11, 1874, in Borden leaving behind a thriving business, two sons and a host of inventions and parents.