A father of modern milling in America and founder of what became General Mills, Cadwallader C. Washburn converted his business from gristmills to truly revolutionary technology, including "gradual reduction" processing by steel and porcelain roller mills capable of producing premium-quality pure white flour very quickly. Some ideas were developed by William Dixon Gray and some acquired through industrial espionage from Hungary by William de la Barre. Charles A. Pillsbury and the C.A. Pillsbury Company across the river were barely a step behind, hiring Washburn employees to immediately use the new methods. The hard red spring wheat that grows in Minnesota became valuable ($0.50 profit per barrel in 1871 increased to $4.50 in 1874), and Minnesota "patent" flour was recognized at the time as the best in the world.