Gail Borden Jr first condensed milk in 1853 in an attempt to create a milk product that was shelf stable. He opened 2 factories to produce his product, but both ultimately failed, and it wasn’t until the 3rd factory opened in 1864 that his condensed milk, sold under the name Eagle Brand, caught on. Truly however this baking staple owes its popularity to the American civil war, as the U.S. government ordered huge amounts of sweetened condensed milk (sometimes called Borden’s Milk) for use as a field ration. After the war, the soldiers spread the news of sweetened condensed milk and its popularity only rose. The first Canadian condenser was built in 1871. However a market bubble formed after the milk’s rapid rise in use, and its eventual popping left only a few companies in the condensed milk business, most notably Nestlé, and the Eagle Brand that started it all.