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McIlhenny Company

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Tabasco sauce is a brand of hot sauce made exclusively from tabasco peppers, (Capsicum frutescens var. tabasco) vinegar and salt. It is produced by the McIlhenny Company of Louisiana. Tabasco sauce was first produced in 1868 by Edmund McIlhenny, a Maryland-born former banker who moved to Louisiana around 1840. McIlhenny initially used discarded cologne bottles to distribute his sauce to family and friends. In 1868 when he started to sell to the public he ordered thousands of new cologne bottles from a New Orleans glassworks. On his death in 1890, McIlhenny was succeeded by his eldest son, John Avery McIlhenny, who expanded and modernized the business, but resigned after only a few years in order to join Theodore Roosevelts 1st US Volunteer Cavalry Regiment, the Rough Riders. On Johns departure, brother Edward Avery McIlhenny, a self-taught naturalist fresh from an Arctic adventure, assumed control of the company and also focused on expansion and modernization, running the business from 1898 until his death in 1949.

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