Originator: Borden Foods. Date of origin: Unknown. Notes: Gail Borden patented a process of evaporating milk in 1856, opening the first plant in 1858. On the American Cheese Food package is a picture of Elsie the Cow, who first appeared in cartoon form in 1936. By 1938 she started to get her own fan mail, and in 1939 the first of 15 live Elsies toured the U.S. Elsie appeared at world's fairs, hotels, department stores, parties, and charity drives — later with a husband, Elmer, and a daughter, Beulah, and a son, Beauregard.