QUAKER-ROOTS-L ArchivesArchiver > QUAKER-ROOTS > 1998-03 > 0890233250
From: Jeff Palmer <>
Subject: Re: Some Burning Questions....
Date: Wed, 18 Mar 1998 10:00:50 -0500 (EST)
According to "Why Did They Name It...?", by Hannah Campbell, 1964, pp.
"... Eventually, the principal oatmeal millers were forced to merge in
order to survive and after a series of consolidations of seven of the
largest mills, The Quaker Oats Company of today evolved.
"Through these 'ancestor' companies, the present company dates back well
over a century. However, the name 'Quaker' was not used until 1877 when
The Quaker Mill Company was organized in Ravenna, Ohio. Henry D.
Seymour, one of the several founders of the company, conceived the idea
for the name and the famous 'man in the Quaker garb' trademark. He had
combed the dictionary in search of a name for the new company, but
failed to find anything that appealed to him. He turned to the
encyclopedia, and was intrigued with the story of the Quakers. The
parallel between their characteristics--purity, sterling honesty,
strength and manliness--and the image he hoped to project of the new
company and its product impressed him, and the name 'Quaker Mill
Company' was adopted...
"Henry Seymour's partner, William Heston, also lays claim to the
distinction of having chosen the Quaker trademark. His story is that
while walking through the streets of Cincinnati one day, he saw a
picture of William Penn, clothed in Quaker garb. Being of Quaker
ancestry himself, Heston immediately decided that 'Quaker' was a name
that would carry connotations of quality and would make an ideal
"Both men's reasoning for selection of the name seems logical, but the
Quaker Oats Company has always been inclined to accept Seymour's
"At any rate, the trademark was a tremendous success, even though it
inspired costly law suits, both here and abroad, and was once even
defended against the Society of Friends who petitioned Congress,
unsuccessfully, to bar trademarks with any religious connotations."
Imagine a company today naming and marketing itself as "JEW FOODS - MAKERS
OF THE CEREAL WITH THE JEW BOY ON THE BOX"(!) [No flames please! The
inappropriateness and political incorrectness of that suggestion are
acknowledged but are necessary to illustrate the outrage that the Quakers
have been forced to accept.]
As for Don Cordell's reference to the Crowell family, the book goes on to
"By 1880, oatmeal was to be found in almost every city, village or farm.
It was one of the first commodities to move from the familiar grocery
barrel to the separate carton on the grocer's shelves. The guiding
force behind this revolutionary concept was Henry Crowell, a
progressive-minded man whose thinking amounted almost to prophecy.
"Crowell was then president of the American Cereal Company. He was one
of the first men in American industry to visualize the unlimited
advantages of selling packaged product, rather than one in bulk, and
also to recognize the tremendous possibilities in advertising a product
and selling it to the consumer rather than to the merchant, which was
then the common practice...
"The American Cereal Company, under Crowell's leadership, adopted
Seymour's old Quaker brand (which had come to it through a series of
mergers) and packaged their oatmeal in a cardboard container. An
advertising campaign such as the world had never seen blossomed across
Jeff Palmer -
When cryptography is outlawed, bayl bhgynjf jvyy unir cevinpl!
On Tue, 17 Mar 1998, JLWYCHOR wrote: <SNIPPED>
> Who is that man on the Quaker Oats box, and what, if anything, do Quakers
> have to do with Oatmeal??? Is there some sort of history that connects
> Quakers to Oats, or what?
On Wed, 18 Mar 1998, Don Cordell <> wrote: <SNIPPED>
> I do know the company was originally owned by the Crowell family and
> they were Quakers in RI and MASS. One of the Crowell's married into the
> Huddleston family in Dartmouth, MA (my line).