Welcome to another edition of ‘When in Rome‘ with Cindy. Today we’re talking about Jesse Williams, the man who revolutionized the way of making cheese in the 1850's.

Jesse Williams was the founder of the modern-day cheese making system. He was born in 1798 in Rome NY.

Small amounts of cheese were made with tiny batches of milk at family farms. Williams had a vision of creating much larger quantities of cheese with better quality. He spoke to farmers surrounding his farm and bought some of there milk. He pooled it all together and invented the first assembly line. Williams taught how to use the system to farmers all over the world.

Unfortunately, Williams didn't patent his cheese making invention, so he doesn't receive the fame he rightly deserves.

There's a marker at the present day Rome Fish Hatchery and a portion reads:

Upon this spot in the year 1851, Jesse Williams a Dairy Farmer of this community set up the first cheese factory in America. This Pioneer step led to the inauguration of the modern cheese factory system in this country. Previous to that time, cheese in America had been produced only as a home Farm operation. Jesse Williams, for the first time in the history of American Dairying, converted sweet milk from the surrounding dairies into cheese at one central plant. He invented cheese making machinery which he did not patent, but gave to posterity, aided in the election of other factories, and trained numerous cheesemakers who carried the art of cheese-making throughout America.

Special Thanks to Megan Postal, Director of The Rome Historical Society. You can visit Megan 9 to 3 Tuesday through Friday and 10 to 2 on Saturdays for more on this topic.


Bonus VIdeo: