J. L. BELL is a Massachusetts writer who specializes in (among other things) the start of the American Revolution in and around Boston. He is particularly interested in the experiences of children in 1765-75. He has published scholarly papers and popular articles for both children and adults. He was consultant for an episode of History Detectives, and contributed to a display at Minute Man National Historic Park.

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Sunday, August 28, 2011

But Did the Flakes Get Caught in Your Teeth?

Michel Aubrecht at Blog, or Die reminded me of Washington Crisps, a breakfast cereal sold a century ago in the midst of the Colonial Revival.

Some Washington Crisps advertisements, such as the one Aubrecht highlighted from 1912, explicitly linked the cereal to George Washington’s character—and of course the character of the nation and its breakfast-eating children.

Other ads used the first President in other ways, as in a 1911 entry from the Washington (D.C.) Herald:

Washington is the biggest man in the history of this country.
WASHINGTON CRISPS
(Best Quality Corn Flakes Toasted)
is the biggest 10c. package in the history of the food business. And it’s “D-E-E-E-LICIOUS!”
And some ads didn’t mention the cereal’s namesake at all.

3 comments:

John L. Smith said...

...or did the Washington Crisps KNOCK your teeth out, like George's ? I'd heard that GW had lost most of his teeth at an early age (even by the standards of the 18th century) by cracking walnuts with his teeth. JL - do you know if this is a fact? (Here we go with Washington's teeth again!).

J. L. Bell said...

In all that I've read about Washington's teeth, which were really bad, I never heard that the problem was walnuts. He had so many problems for so long it seems likely there was some systemic problem, like genetics or disease, rather than an injury of any sort.

rfuller said...

The revolution will not only be televised, it will have commercials...