Crisco is a brand of shortening produced by the J. M. Smucker Co. popular in the United States. Introduced in June 1911 by Procter & Gamble, it was the first shortening to be made entirely of vegetable oil. While the term Crisco is commonly used as a synonym for all shortening, Procter and Gamble markets olive, cooking, and baking oil and a cooking spray under that trademark. Hydrogenation of organic substances in gas form was discovered by Sabatier in the late 19th century and while in liquid form was patented by Normann in 1903. Procter & Gamble's business manager John Burchenal was contacted by and hired chemist Edwin C. Kayser, former chemist for Joseph Crosfield and Sons (who had acquired Normann's patent so as to produce soap), who patented two processes to hydrogenate cottonseed oil, which ensures the fat remains solid at normal storage temperatures. Their initial intent was to completely harden oils for use as raw material for making soap.
Contributions by John Vandenberg, Wahkeenah, and Feline1.