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Interstate Cotton Seed Crushers' Association

Organized in Nashville in 1897, the Interstate Cotton Seed Crushers' Association operated from 1897 to 1929. It was the second cottonseed trade association, the first having been disbanded in 1887 after the American Cotton Oil Trust absorbed most of the nation's cottonseed oil mills and refineries. A decade of mill building by independent businessmen led to the creation of a new trade association. While membership in the first organization had been limited to operators of cottonseed oil mills, the Interstate Cotton Seed Crushers' Association welcomed refiners, brokers, machinery manufacturers, oil chemists, and other interested businessmen. The association provided uniform trading rules, arbitrated trade disputes, promoted cottonseed products, and lobbied for the industry.

When the United States entered World War I in 1917, the federal government regulated essential industries in cooperation with their trade associations. Since cottonseed oil and meal were important food products, and linters, the fuzz left on cottonseed after ginning, was the raw material for nitrocellulose or gun cotton, the Interstate Cotton Seed Crushers' Association could no longer ignore the need for a full-time employee to handle the regulatory duties. When the association hired a presidential assistant in 1917, it made Memphis the permanent headquarters. During the 1920s, other staff members were added as the association undertook to promote and regulate oil mills more aggressively.

In 1929 the Interstate Cotton Seed Crushers' Association was reorganized, strengthened, and renamed the National Cottonseed Products Association. Under that name the association has now embarked on its second century of service to the cottonseed processing industry.

Suggested Reading

Lynette B. Wrenn, Cinderella of the New South: A History of the Cottonseed Industry, 1855-1955 (1995).

Published » December 25, 2009 | Last Updated » January 01, 2010