In 1870, in the war against the Prussians, Napoleon III ordered one million cans of beef to feed his troops. The task of providing all this beef went to aScotsman living in Canada named John Lawson Johnston. Large quantities of beef were available across the British Dominions and South America, but its transport and storage were problematic. Therefore Johnston created a product known as ‘Johnston’s Fluid Beef,’ later called Bovril, to meet the needs of the French people and Napoleon III. By 1888, over 3,000 British public houses, grocers and chemists were selling Bovril. In 1889, the Bovril Company was formed.
Info gleaned from Wikipedia