As a result of this 1886 act, a single employee from the Department of Agriculture transferred to the Bureau of Internal Revenue. His job? To create a laboratory for analyzing butter samples suspected of adulteration with oleomargarine, a product subjected to taxation.
One year later, the laboratory began analysis on beers, wines, ciders and whiskeys. By the 1900s, the lab was responsible for all alcohol and tobacco products
First Laboratory Report
Sample number 1, dated December 29, 1886, concludes that the first tested sample is pure butter, not adulterated with oleomargarine. (Original document on display at ATF’s National Laboratory Center)