Nathan, Joseph Edward

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Joseph Edward Nathan

The eighth of 10 children of poor Jewish parents from the East End of London, Joseph Nathan had little formal education but was to become a leading player in the New Zealand dairy industry.

By 1873 he was principal of Wellington-based merchant house Joseph Nathan & Company.

From 1901 to –1903 Nathan and his sons negotiated the rights to manufacture dried milk in New Zealand and from 1906 his factory at Bunnythorpe was manufacturing dried milk as well as cheese and other dairy products.

With the growing use of the powder as an infant food, the Nathans changed the name of their product from Defiance Dried Milk to Glaxo, a business now part of the giant pharmaceutical group, GlaxoSmithKline.