Aunt Jemima (19th & 20th century) Chris L. Rutt and Charles G. Underwood purchased the Pearl Milling Company in 1889, and came up with the novel idea of creating a ready-mixed pancake flour. Rutt named it for a catchy tune called 'Aunt Jemima' which he had recently heard in a vaudeville show. Rutt and Underwood went broke in 1890, and sold the formula for Aunt Jemima Pancake Mix to the R.T. Davis Milling Company. Davis looked for a woman to represent the product, and hired an African American woman named Nancy Green from Chicago, Illinois. At the 1893 Colombian Exposition in Chicago, Davis made an all-out effort to promote the new pancake mix, and built the world's largest flour barrel. 'Aunt Jemima' (Nancy Green) demonstrated how to use the new mix, and the exhibit was so popular, police had to control the crowds at the Aunt Jemima booth. Nancy Green was awarded a medal and proclaimed 'Pancake Queen' by the Fair officials. Soon signed to a lifetime contract by Davis, Green was a hit all across the country, as she toured demonstrating the new Aunt Jemima Pancake Mix, and by 1910 it was available nationally. She played the part of Aunt Jemima until her death on September 24, 1923 (she died in a car accident). Aunt Jemima Mills were purchased in 1925 by the Quaker Oats Company of Chicago. Betty Crocker (1921-?) Betty Crocker never existed. She was created by advertising manager Sam Gale in 1921. General Mills wanted to personalize responses to letters it received from consumers, so Betty Crocker was created as the spokeswoman who signed these letters. George A. Hormel George A. Hormel founded the Hormel Company in Austin, Minnesota in 1891, it is now one of the leading pork processors in the U.S. Hormel sold its first canned ham in 1926, and in 1937, Hormel invented SPAM, a ground pork-shoulder and ham product that was destined to become the world's largest selling canned meat. It was created to make use of surplus pork shoulder, mixing it with ham, salt, sugar and sodium nitrite. During WW II, Hormel sold more than half of its output to the U.S. government, which supplied SPAM to the armed forces of the U.S. and also to the U.S.S.R. under the lend-lease program. Sylvester Graham (July 5, 1794 - Sept. 11, 1851) Inventor of Graham flour, bread and crackers (1829). Graham was an American Presbyterian minister who mainly preached nutrition and wanted to reform the eating habits of America and the world. He advocated vegetarianism and the use of only coarse, whole grain flour. He railed against meat, potatoes, tobacco and alcohol, coffee and tea, chocolate and pastries. He was hated and sometimes attacked by butchers and bakers, liquor and tobacco companies. He wanted Americans to eat fruits and vegetables; stop wearing corsets; sleep on hard beds, take cold baths daily, and weekly warm baths; and above all eat bread made with only whole grain, unrefined wheat flour. According to Larousse Gastronomique (1984) Graham bread was the first internationally consumed bread. Many of his ideas on diet have been proven correct and widely accepted. Richard Hellmann (Early 20th century) Richard Hellmann was a deli owner in New York City in the early years of the 20th century. He made his salads and sandwiches with his wife Nina's mayonnaise. It was so popular, that he began selling it by the scoop, and then in bulk to other stores. In 1912 he built a factory for producing it in jars, and it was an immediate success. His Blue Ribbon mayonnaise in jars contributed greatly to the surge in popularity of cole slaw as a side dish. Maurice and Richard McDonald (20th century) The brothers who founded McDonald's restaurant. Richard also designed the golden arches logo. They opened the first McDonald's in 1948 in San Bernadino, California, and in 1954 signed a franchise agreement with Ray Kroc. Kroc bought the McDonald brothers out in 1961 for $2.7 million. The chain had more than 100 restaurants at that time. Ray Kroc (October 5, 1902 - January 14, 1984) Before setting up the a fast-food restaurant chain, Ray Kroc was a high school dropout, ambulance driver, jazz pianist, Florida real-estate salesman, radio station manager, and paper cup salesman. In 1954 he was a distributor for a line of blenders which could mix 5 milk shakes at the same time. One of his customers was a restaurant in San Bernardino, California owned by Maurice and Richard McDonald. Kroc set up a chain of drive-in restaurants based on the McDonald brothers model of assembly line preparation for high volume food sales. He opened his first restaurant on April 15, 1955 in Des Plaines, Illinois. By 1961 he had 228 restaurants and he bought out the McDonald brothers. When he died in 1984 there were over 7,500 McDonald's restaurants. Jolly Green Giant (1958 - ) When the Jolly Green Giant first appeared in Television commercials in 1958, he did not exactly leave the desired impression. He looked like a monster and scared kids! So they worked on his looks and added 'Ho, ho, ho' and the jingle 'Good things from the garden,’ to lighten up his image. Frank C. Mars (20th century) Candy maker Frank C. Mars of Minnesota introduced the Milky Way candy bar in 1923, the Snickers bar 1930, and the 5 cent Three Musketeers bar in 1937. The original 3 Musketeers contained 3 bars in one wrapper, each with different flavor. Nostradamus (December 14, 1503 - July 2, 1566) Nostradamus is best known for his book of prophecies 'Centuries Asrtologiques' published in 1555. However, in the same year he also published 'Excellent er Moult Utile Opuscule a tous necessaire qui desirent avoir connaissance de plusieurs exq uises recettes' (‘An excellent and most useful little work essential to all who wish to become acquainted with some exquisite recipes’). Mary Mallon (Typhoid Mary) (1870 - November 11, 1938) Infamous household cook who was responsible for major outbreaks of typhoid in the New York City area in 1904, 1907, and 1914. She was immune to typhoid herself, but was a carrier of the bacillus, and spread it wherever she worked as a household cook. Marilyn Monroe (June 1, 1926 - August 5, 1962) Marilyn Monroe (Norma Jean) was crowned ‘Artichoke Queen’ in 1947 in Castroville, California. Castroville is known as the 'Artichoke Capital of the World.' Mr. Peanut (1916 - ) Mr. Peanut was created by 13 year-old Antonio Gentile in a logo contest held by Planters in 1916. He won the grand prize of $5.00. His drawing of a peanut person with arms and crossed legs was refined by a professional illustrator who added the top hat, monocle, white gloves and cane. There is a statue and museum honoring Mr. Peanut in his home town of Suffolk, Virginia, the 'Peanut Capital of the World.' Paul Prudhomme (July 13, 1940 - ?) Louisiana born chef and restaurateur. He owned his first restaurant at the age of 17, and in 1979 opened his world famous Cajun restaurant, K-Pauls. He has written several best selling cookbooks. Edwin E. Perkins (20th Century) In 1927, Edwin E. Perkins of Hastings, Nebraska invented the powdered soft drink Kool-Aid. John S. Pemberton (1831-1888) In 1887, Asa Candler (1851-1929) a wholesale druggist, purchased the formula for Coca-Cola from John S. Pemberton an Atlanta pharmacist for $ 2,300. He sold the company in 1919 for $25 million. H. B. Reese (20th century) H.B. Reese, a Pennsylvania farmer, took a job operating one of Hershey's dairy farms in 1917 and later started a candy company of his own. He introduced Reese's Peanut Butter Cups in 1923. Plautus (c. 255 B.C.) The term 'don't upset the apple cart' was first used by Roman playwright Plautus in 255 B.C. in his play 'Epiducus'. Harland Sanders (September 9, 1890 - December 16, 1980) Founded Kentucky Fried Chicken fast food restaurant chain. He opened his first restaurant, Sanders' Cafe in 1929 in Corbin, Kentucky. He was made an honorary colonel by the governor of Kentucky in 1935, and by 1964 he had over 600 Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurants, using his secret blend of 11 herbs and spices (and a pressure cooker) to make "finger lickin' good chicken". He sold the company in 1964 for $2,000,000, a lifetime salary of $40,000 and a seat on the board of directors. He remained an active spokesman for the chain until his death in 1980. Henry Tate (19th century) Henry Tate, an English sugar merchant, patented a method of cutting sugar into small cubes in 1872. He made a fortune. W. F. Semple (19th century) W.F. Semple of Mount Vernon, Ohio, patented chewing gum in 1869. Pearl B. and May David Wait (late 19th century) Peter Cooper, inventor and founder of the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, obtained the first American patent for the manufacture of gelatin. In 1895, cough syrup manufacturer Pearl B. Wait purchased the patent and developed a packaged gelatin dessert. Wait's wife, May David Wait named it 'Jell-O.' Duke Wilhelm IV (16th century) Duke Wilhelm IV of Bavaria decreed in 1516 that beer could only be brewed from barley malt, hops and water. This Rheinheitsgebot (purity law) was the world's first consumer protection law. William Wrigley Jr. (September 30, 1861 - January 26, 1932) William Wrigley Jr. started out as a traveling salesman at the age of 13, selling soap for his father's company. Later selling soap for another company, then selling baking powder with chewing gum as a premium. Customers liked the gum better than the baking powder, so he again switched products and began selling the chewing gum. By the 1893 he was marketing his own brand of chewing gum, Lotta and Vassar, and then Juicy Fruit in 1893, and later that year Wrigley's Spearmint. His company, driven by his advertising genius, became one of the largest advertisers in the U.S., and the largest chewing gum manufacturer in the world. Nathaniel Wyeth (October 24, 1911 - July 6, 1990) Nathaniel Wyeth, American chemist and inventor, received patent for PET (polyethylene terephthalate) beverage bottles. This was the first safe plastic strong enough to hold carbonated beverages without bursting.