100 Years Ago Today

A History Of Events And Happenings From Exactly One Hundred Years Ago

Pancake Mix Uses Presidential Election

Aunt Jemima was a character created for a minstrel show by Billy Kersands in 1875. Chris L Rutt of St Joseph, Missouri bought a flour mill in 1888. They sold a ready-to-make pancake mix from surplus flour. In 1889 Rutt viewed a minstrel show with the Aunt Jemima character and decided to use it for selling his pancake mix. A new owner hired former slave Nancy Green as a spokesperson for the Aunt Jemima in 1890. Green operated a pancake-cooking display at the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago, Illinois in 1893, appearing beside the “world’s largest flour barrel” using the slogan “I’se in Town, Honey.” African-American authors criticized the image as offensive and demeaning.

Aunt Jemima advertisement featuring former slave Nancy Green

On October 15, 1912 an advertisement capitalizing on the presidential campaign appeared in the Urbana Courier-Herald in Illinois showing the 3 candidates – Roosevelt with a gun as the intrepid hunter, Taft with a golf club and Wilson with a top hat.

Aunt Jemima ad
Urbana Courier-Herald
October 15, 1912

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