As the Wikipedia page tells us:

Cottolene was a brand of shortening made of beef suet and cottonseed oil

     Posted By: Paul - Fri Aug 07, 2020
     Category: Food | Nineteenth Century | Twentieth Century | Nausea, Revulsion and Disgust

From this Wikipedia article and the one on Crisco, it seems that hydrogenation wasn't invented until several decades after Cottolene was introduced. Hence the need for beef suet to make it solid.
Posted by ges on 08/07/20 at 08:48 AM
I was taught that lard and suet were pretty much the same thing obtained from different animals. My maternal grandmother preferred using beef fat and mother preferred using lard for the occasional deep fry dish. Fortunately mother did not often cook deep fried foodstuffs as I find them too heavy tasting. I cook with safflower oil when I make anything deep fried.
Posted by KDP on 08/07/20 at 09:22 AM
Eventually the makers of cottonseed oil got away from using that term for food, the idea of eating cotton being off putting.
Posted by Brian on 08/07/20 at 08:22 PM
Yes, and the toilet paper companies pounced on it. "It is as soft as real cotton...Cottonelle".
Posted by Yudith on 08/08/20 at 05:56 AM
@Brian: quite. Now they call it "Canola" (a.k.a. rape oil) or linseed oil. No, thank you. I'll have proper butter, or olive oil, or peanut or sunflower. None of those paint emulsifiers in my food, thank you very much!
Posted by Richard Bos on 08/08/20 at 08:50 AM
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