This chapter looks at the history of commodity exchanges trading eggs and dairy products. There was a time when eggs and dairy products were highly perishable and precious. And the traders who dealt in contracts related to those products were the comfortable “butter-and-eggers.” As the wheat market led to the creation of the Chicago Board of Trade, the butter-and-egg market led directly to the creation of the rival Chicago Mercantile Exchange as well as New York's own Mercantile Exchange. In 1872, dairy merchants split off from the New York Produce Exchange and founded the Butter and Cheese Exchange of New York. With the addition of eggs, it was named the Butter, Cheese, and Egg Exchange, and by 1882, the organization was renamed the New York Mercantile Exchange. In September 1919, the Chicago Butter and Egg Board was dissolved, to be replaced by the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. This chapter discusses the demise of egg trading in the United States.
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