Entrepreneur and inventor Joseph Lee lived most of his life in Boston, Massachusetts. His love for cooking started at a very young age. As a young boy, he worked at a bakery. Lee went on to open two of the most successful restaurants in the Boston area in the late 1890s.
Lee opened and managed the Woodland Park Hotel in Newton, Massachusetts, for 17 years. He later opened a catering business called “Lee Catering Company” and served the wealthy population of Boylston Street in the Back Bay. He also operated the Squantum Inn, a summer resort in South Shores which specialized in seafood. The catering business became a great success for Lee, but he was troubled by the fact that so much bread was being thrown away.
Considered a master cook, Joseph had long believed that crumbs from bread was quite useful in preparing food, as opposed to cracker crumbs which many others favored. He decided that instead of simply throwing stale bread crumbs away, he would use it to make bread crumbs. He then set out to invent a device that could automate tearing, crumbing and grinding the bread into crumbs.
He was finally successful and patented the invention on June 4, 1895. Lee eventually sold the rights to his bread crumbing machine to the Royal Worcester Bread Crumb Company of Boston, who quickly had devices in major restaurants around the world. Joseph Lee died in 1905 and is an honored pioneer in the food preparation industry.