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The Branding of America
Did You Know?

Did You Know? Little-Known Facts About Name Brands
Arm and Hammer | Armour and Co. | Carnation Milk | Dutch Boy Paints | Gillette | Goodyear Tire Co. | Hallmark | Hamilton Watch Co. | Ivory Soap | Jell-O | John Deere | Minute Tapioca | Morton Salt | Post | Quaker | Shredded Wheat | Welch’s | Wells Fargo | Wrigley’s | Aunt Jemima | Edison’s Phonograph | Florsheim Shoe Co. | McCormick | Mobil | Swift and Co.

Arm and Hammer
Arm and Hammer - picture from Annie Grace Clark Scrapbook

The Church and Dwight Co.was formed in 1847. It is commonly recognized by its Arm and Hammer trademark, which is modeled after Vulcan, the mythological god of fire and metalworking. The company issued its first bird cards 100 years ago in an effort to raise public awareness of threatened wildlife. Baking soda birdcards, especially those illustrated by Louis Agassiz Fuertes, are highly collectible today.
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Birdcard fromAnnie Grace Clark Scrapbook

Armour and Co.
Armour and Co. - That's the Best Extract of the Best Beef

Bitten by the gold-rush bug, Philip Armour walked from New York to San Francisco. When that didn’t pan out, he headed home. A stop in Milwaukee impressed him and he decided to stay. Looking to invest, he bought into a packing company. In 1864, with the $2 million he made in the New York pork market, he opened the Armour Meat Packing Co. Today we know his hot dogs as the “dogs kids love to bite.”
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Armour’s Extract of Beef advertisement

Carnation Milk
The Story of Carnation Milk

In 1899, Grocer E. A. Stuart founded the Pacific Coast Condensed Milk Company in Kent, Washington. In searching for a perfect name for his product, Stuart passed a store window with a cigar display, proclaiming their name – Carnation. He thought the name to be silly for cigars, but perfect for his new milk products. The 1907 slogan, “milk from contented cows,” referred to the happy cows grazing in the lush Pacific Northwest.
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1915 The Story of Carnation Milk cookbook

Dutch Boy Paints
Dutch Boy Paints - Paint it with red seal white lead and pure linseed oil

The “Dutch Process” for making paint, adopted by the Dutch Boy Co., originated with two chemists in 16th century Holland. The Dutch Boy icon was created to symbolize its superior method for creating paint. However, Michael E. Brady, the 9-year-old boy who became the inspiration for this famous trademark, wasn’t Dutch at all. He was an Irish American who lived near the artist commissioned to create the logo.
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Dutch Boy Paints advertisement

9 miles from Wrightstown - My Boy you'll need Gilette Safety Razor

King Camp Gillette’s father was a part-time patent agent and inventor. Seventeen-year-old Gillette became a traveling salesman and, following in his father’s inventive footsteps, tried to improve the products he sold. While shaving one morning on the road, he had a brainstorm – to develop a razor that had a safe, inexpensive and disposable blade. His 1904 patent of the double-edged “safety razor” blade changed the history of shaving.
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Billboard with Gillette advertisement

Goodyear Tire Co.
Goodyear Tire Co.

Charles Goodyear discovered “vulcanized” rubber by accident. Mid-19th century rubber products cracked in the cold or melted in the heat. While showing off one of his “improved rubber experiments” in a general store, Goodyear accidentally dropped some rubber mixed with sulpher on a pot-bellied stove. The resulting tough substance – patented in 1844 as vulcanized rubber - revolutionized the rubber industry.
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1861 advertisement - The original rubber store

Hallmark - picture from Emma Saxton Pascoe Scrapbook

Joyce Hall began selling products door-to-door at age 8 in his hometown of Norfolk, Nebraska. In 1910, at age 17, he moved to Kansas City to promote his brother's postcard business. Greeting cards were soon added to the Hall Brothers Co. product line. In 1925, the term Hallmark was first used on the backs of cards. Today, the slogan – “when you care enough to send the very best” – is synonymous with Hallmark.
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Greeting card from Emma Saxton Pascoe scrapbook

Hamilton Watch Co.
The Hamilton Watch: The Rail Road Timekeeper of America

The Hamilton Co. produced its first watch in 1893. Its “Broadway Limited” watch – dubbed the “Watch of Railroad Accuracy” - was produced to keep railways on time and on track. During World War Two, Hamilton produced nearly 1 millionwatches for military use. Innovative firsts of the Hamilton Watch Company include the first battery-powered watch (the 1957 Ventura) and the first digital watch (the1972 Pulsar.)
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1913 Hamilton Watch booklet

Ivory Soap
Ivory Soap - Proctor and Gamble Distributing Company, Cincinnati, Ohio. The third-floor end opening of the soap kettles. The soap kettles are three stories tall.

William Procter and John Gamble started business selling candles and soap from a wheelbarrow. In 1879 John Gamble developed a formula for an inexpensive white soap. A workman accidentally left the soap machine running while he went to lunch. Air entered the soap mixture, creating the phenomenon of a floating soap. The soap's name - Ivory -was inspired by a Bible passage containing the words "out of ivory palaces."
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Procter and Gamble soap kettles photograph

Jell-O: America's Most Famous Dessert

In 1845, Peter Cooper, inventor and founder of Cooper Union, obtained the first patent for a gelatin dessert. In 1897, Pearl Wait, a cough medicine maker from Leroy, New York obtained the patent and added fruit flavoring to the gelatin, calling it Jell-O. The business was sold two years later for $450 to Orator F. Woodward. Today, 158 products are made under the Jell-O brand name and 300 million boxes are sold annually.
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1910 Jello Recipe booklet

John Deere
John Deere - Farmer's Pocket Companion

John Deere began his career as a blacksmith. Upon moving from Vermont to Illinois in search of better economic opportunities, he found that cast iron plows brought from the East were too flimsy for farming the Midwest soil. In 1837, using a broken saw blade, he fashioned a steel plow that proved to be perfect for prairie needs. His small blacksmith shop grew into the industrial giant that today serves more than 160 countries.
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1884 Farmer’s Pocket Companion booklet

Minute Tapioca
Minute Tapioca Cook Book

In 1894, a sailor became ill in Boston. His landlady offered to make him a pudding from the cassava roots he had brought from his journeys. The pudding proved tasty, but to create a smoother consistency, the sailor suggested first putting the roots through a coffee grinder. The creamy tapioca pudding was a hit with her boarders. That year, J. S. Whitman bought the landlady’s recipe rights and the Minute Tapioca Co. was born.
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1923 Minute Tapioca Cook Book

Morton Salt
Morton Salt dock building located next to railroad tracks

In 1848, Alonzo Richmond arrived in Chicago to launch his salt distribution business. The westward movement created a great demand for salt and his company thrived. In 1886, Joy Morton acquired a major interest in the company, and by 1910, it was renamed the Morton Salt Co. The “umbrella girl” and her accompanying slogan - “When it rains, it pours” – have endured since their first advertising appearance in 1911.
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1928 Morton Salt dock building photograph

Post - We're ravin' to go - A sample of Post bran flakes for every family

In 1895, C. W. Post made his first batch of the cereal beverage - Postum. Grape Nuts, one of the first cold cereal products, followed in 1897. His 1904 corn flake product, Elijah’s Manna, was later renamed Post Toasties. Post Bran Flakes was introduced in 1922. Although the original Postum Cereal Co. no longer exists, Kraft General Foods Co. still markets its many cereals under the respected “Post” brand name.
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1920s Post Bran Flakes promotion photograph

Quaker Wheat Berries

Quaker’s history traces back to 1901 when several top oat-milling companies incorporated under the name Quaker Oats Co. The Quaker Oats Man is one of the oldest advertising characters still in use. Although none of the founding owners were Quakers, the image was chosen to represent purity, simplicity and quality. In 1877, this image became the first registered trademark for a breakfast cereal.
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Quaker Wheat Berries advertisement

Shredded Wheat
Shredded Wheat - Its All in the Shreds

In 1892, Henry Perky invented a machine to make the shredded wheat biscuit. He really wanted to sell the machine, but tried to promote his idea by delivering “Cereal Machine Company” biscuits by horse-drawn carriage. People were more interested in his biscuits than the machines, so he opened a bakery and added the name Shredded Wheat Company. Millions of biscuits later, shredded wheat remains a breakfast favorite.
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“It's All in the Shreds” postcard

Original Concord grape vine, Concord, Mass.

In 1849, after cultivating 22,000 grape seedlings, Ephraim Wales Bull finally grew a vine that yielded grapes with the flavor and appearance he was seeking. By 1854, he had raised enough vines to start selling grapes. He called them “Concord Grapes” after the Massachusetts town where he conducted his experiments. Today Welch’s is headquarted in Concord, right near Bull’s original parent vine.
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Original concord grape vine photograph

Wells Fargo
View of a stagecoach used by Wells Fargo & Company possibly in Denver, Colorado

When Henry Wells and William Fargo opened for business in 1852, they changed the course of 19th century travel, delivery and banking. Their Concord stagecoach could hold up to 18 passengers, traveled 5 miles per hour, and changed horses every 12 to 20 miles. The company thrived and today Wells Fargo’s diversified financial services company has more than $300 billion in assets.
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Wells Fargo stagecoach photograph

Wrigley's - Fine For Digestion - Fine For Teeth

In 1891, 29-year-old William Wrigley Jr. arrived in Chicago with $32. He began selling baking powder and came up with the idea of offering two packages of chewing gum as premiums with each can. People were more interested in the chewing gum, so Wrigley began to market gum under his own name. He introduced Juicy Fruit in 1893 and Spearmint a year later. Today, the Wrigley Co. operates 14 factories around the world.
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Wrigley’s Gum advertisement

Aunt Jemima
Aunt Jemime - Reducing Time and Costs

Can YOU find out? Who is Aunt Jemima? Was she a real person? How long has her image been in use? Learn more about this historic advertising icon by visiting the Museum of Public Relations and Advertising Age.
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1918 Aunt Jemima advertisement

Edison’s Phonograph
Edison's Phonograph

Can YOU find out? When did Edison did patent the phonograph? How many patents did Thomas Alva Edison acquire in his lifetime? Learn more about Edison by visiting the American Memory collection – Inventing Entertainment.

Edison Phonograph advertisement

Florsheim Shoe Co.
Florsheim Shoe Co. - The Thompson Blue Book on Advertising (1904)

Can YOU find out? Who started the Florsheim Shoe Company? When did the company start producing shoes? Where is the company headquarters located? Check out Florsheim’s official company site to find the answers.
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Florsheim Shoe advertisement

Mc Cormick

Can YOU find out? Who invented the horse-drawn reaper? How did this invention change agricultural history? Learn more by visiting the Inventors Hall of Fame Web site.
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1885 MCormick Harvesting and Machine Co. booklet

Mobil - Steiner Plastics, Oyster Bay. Mobile Oil sign

Can YOU find out? How did the Mobil Co. get its start? When did the company start using the Pegasus logo? Learn more by visiting the Mobil Web site.

1953 Mobil Oil sign photograph

Swift and Co.
Swift's Premium Hams and Bacon

Can YOU find out? How did Swift and Co. get its start? How long has the company been in business? Where is the company headquarters located? Check out the Swift and Co. website to find out!
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Swift’s Premium Hams and Bacon advertisement

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Last updated 08/14/2006