• SSPF

Henry Cullen Adams | Inducted by 1920

Farmer, statesman and influential policy maker, his legacy was the Adams Act of 1906.

1850-1906 | Artist: Robert Wadsworth Grafton (1876-1936)


Impact & Accomplishments


Henry Cullen Adams was born in Verona, New York, and raised in Wisconsin.


A dairy and fruit farmer, Adams was a leader in several state agricultural organizations, including the board of agriculture, horticulture society, and dairymen’s association. He also served two terms in the Wisconsin State Assembly.


In 1902, he was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, where he worked on the Meat Inspection Act, Pure Food and Drug Act, and oleomargarine bill. Just before his unexpected death, Adams authored a bill to gradually double federal appropriations to agriculture experiment stations established under the Hatch Act of 1887. The Adams Act, unanimously passed in 1906, was a major boost to agricultural research.


Did You Know?


The three portraits of William Henry Hatch, Justin Smith Morrill and Henry Cullen Adams are framed as a triptych, while most of the other works in the collection are framed individually. The grouping represents three significant agriculture policy leaders of the nineteenth century; leaders who were, collectively, responsible for the establishment of the nation’s agricultural experiment stations. These men were among the earliest inducted into the Saddle & Sirloin Club Portrait Collection.


March 16, 1906. Congress passes the Adams Act, providing increased support for agricultural experiment stations. The act provides $10,000 per year for agricultural research, to be increased to $25,000 per year.


The Pure Food and Drug Act of 1906 was the first of a series of significant consumer protection laws which was enacted by Congress in the 20th century and led to the creation of the Food and Drug Administration. Its main purpose was to ban foreign and interstate traffic in adulterated or mislabeled food and drug products, and it directed the U.S. Bureau of Chemistry to inspect products and refer offenders to prosecutors. It required that active ingredients be placed on the label of a drug's packaging and that drugs could not fall below purity levels established by the United States Pharmacopeia or the National Formulary.


The Meat Inspection Act of 1906 was assigned to what is now known as the Food Safety and Inspection Service, which remains in the U.S. Department of Agriculture.



President Theodore Roosevelt in 1906 signing bills into law.

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