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Although functioning since 2006, the Underwood Institute was formalized as a 501(c)(3) in 2016. Originally incorporated in the state of New York, we trace our varied roots back to the William Underwood Company, founded in 1822. In the mid-1890s, William Lyman Underwood was involved with research efforts at MIT in food science, helping to improve canning technology and food safety, yet the improvements they discovered were intentionally not patented so that the entire world could benefit from them. This spirit of helping others and trying to improve the world continues to this day among many Underwood descendants, including here at the Underwood Institute.