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1909 Ad Postum Cereal Breakfast Grape Nut Health Food Battle Creek Michigan ARG1

1909 Ad Postum Cereal Breakfast Grape Nut Health Food Battle Creek Michigan ARG1

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This is an original 1909 black and white print ad promoting the Grape-Nuts from Postum Cereal Company located in Battle Creek, Michigan.


This 102+ year old Item is rated Very Fine +++. Light aging in margins. No creases. No natural defects. No surface rub. No tears. No water damage.

  • Product Type: Original Print Ad; Black / White
  • Grade: Very Fine +++
  • Dimensions: Approximately 6 x 8.25 inches; 15 x 21 cm
  • Authentication: Serial-Numbered Certificate of Authenticity w/ Full Provenance
  • Protection: Packaged in a custom archival sleeve with an acid-free black board (great for display, gift-giving, and preservation)

Postum/Post/General Foods/Kraft Foods.

The Postum Cereal Company was first established in Battle Creek, Michigan in 1895, under Charles William Post. C. W. PostÕs first creation was Postum, a caffeine-free coffee alternative, inspired by PostÕs former teacher Dr. John Harvey Kellogg, a coffee assailant. The healthful product was made of wheat, molasses, maltodextrin from corn and wheat bran. The coffee substitute excelled greatly during World War II when coffee came under heavy wartime rationing. In fact, the product ended up being so successful throughout the course of time that production of Postum didnÕt actually cease until 2007.

Two years after PostumÕs appearance on market shelves, the company began manufacturing its Grape-Nuts cereal, named such after its grape-like aroma produced during manufacturing, as well as the nutty crunch flavor it produced after it was finalized.

In 1908, the Postum Cereal Company began producing ElijahÕs Manna (later renamed Post Toasties), which was meant to be an imitation of KelloggÕs Corn Flakes.

Between 1925 and 1929, the Postum Cereal Company had acquired more than a dozen companies and had expanded its product line to include over 60 different products. Some companies that were acquired were Jell-O, BakerÕs Chocolate and Maxwell House coffee. After its many acquisitions the company changed its name to General Foods Corporation in 1929.

Between the late 1920s and the 1930s, the company made great headway in the radio scene and sponsored a variety of shows, including a particularly popular comedic variety show that starred Jack Benny. By 1937, the company ranked second (behind Procter & Gamble) in radio advertising in the United States.

General Foods Corporation also remained prominent among T. V. advertisers. The company sponsored such shows the Wonderful World of Disney, as well as a series of comedy shows that starred Bill Cosby, Carol Burnett and Bob Newhart. By 1972, General Foods Corporation was ranked sixth among television advertisers.

In 1985, Phillip Morris purchased General Foods. Then, four years later, Morris merged General Foods with Kraft Foods, forming the Kraft General Foods division. In 1995, Morris shortened the company name to simply Kraft Foods.

Interesting Facts:

Early on The Postum Cereal Company utilized innovative (for the time) marketing techniques, including free samples, product demonstrations, factory tours, recipe booklets, coupons and, of course, extensive advertising.

Since 1945, Postum was a code name used by the U. S. for polonium-210, which was a key component used in nuclear weapon initiators.

In the 1980s, a court case was filed by the Committee on ChildrenÕs Television against General Foods and its ad agency. The Committee claimed that its presweetened cereals and commercials encouraged lasting poor nutrition habits, as well as tooth decay among millions of children. The suit was later dropped.

Postum was popular among The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, as well as the Mormon Culture. It is thought that Postum was especially popular among the Mormons because of the company's original kosher stimulant-free coffee alternative.

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