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Bake It Better With Quaker Oats

Quaker Oat Bran (Favorite Recipes)

Beginnings - A Collection of Appetizers Presented By the Junior League of Akron

Cereal Tycoon: Henry Parsons Crowell, Founder of the Quaker Oats Co

The History of the Quaker Oats Company

Brands, trademarks, and good will: The Story of the Quaker Oats Company

Written on the Hills: The Making of the Akron Landscape

Akron (Images of America)

Gum-Dipped: A Daughter Remembers Rubber Town

Akron (Black America: Ohio)

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The Quaker Mill Company - history

The Quaker Mill Company, forerunner to the mega-giant Quaker Oats, was incorporated in 1877 in the small town of Ravenna, Ohio.

The four men who founded the oat milling company were William Heston, Henry D. Seymour, Francis B. King, and John B. King.

There are conflicting accounts as to how the Quaker name was chosen.  One version gives credit to Henry Seymour, who was said to be browsing the dictionary in search of an idea for the company name.  He came upon an article on the Quakers and decided that their characteristics of purity, honesty and strength were parallel with those envisioned of the new company.  The second version gives credit to William Heston, who is said to have been walking on the streets of Cincinnati when he came upon a picture of William Penn, a Quaker whose clothes and character inspired in his mind a good name for their new venture.

The Quaker trademark, described as "The figure of a man in Quaker garb," was recorded with the U.S. Patent Office in September 1877.  The name and mark were to be applied to their products of oatmeal, cracked corn, cracked wheat, pearl barley and farina.

After struggling for two years against stiff competition from Ferdinand Schumacher, a miller in nearby Akron, the plant and business was sold to Warren Corning.

Henry P. Crowell and James H. Andrews, both from Cleveland, Ohio, formed a partnership and purchased all of the company stock in 1881 for the sum of $25,000.  The ideas and business practices of these two men were to strongly influence the oatmeal milling business of the future.

In 1886, the Quaker Mill Company joined 20 other eastern millers to form the Oatmeal Millers' Association in a combined effort to stabilize and control the production and prices of oatmeal in their area.

The Association was short-lived and the Quaker Mill Company then joined in the initial charter of the Consolidated Oatmeal Company, a pooling concern with the same objectives,  in 1887.  Henry P. Crowell was named as President of this company.

As more states initiated laws against pooling companies and the influx of new mills created  an over-saturated oatmeal market, it became evident that the Consolidated Oatmeal Company could not survive financially.

In 1891, the Quaker Mill Company joined six of the other largest and oldest oatmeal millers in the industry to form the American Cereal Company.  Of all the brands that the seven millers represented, the Quaker brand name was the one that was most heavily promoted.

The trademarked Quaker Oats man on is said to be the first American advertising icon on a food product.

by Kathy Moore - 9/8/2005

"One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well." - Virginia Woolf

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