Sunday, 2 February 2014



At Hungerford Arcade, we are no strangers to the rare and wonderful artifacts that relate to the food industry.  Here is a little gem which I am sure you will find interesting.

Force, first produced in 1901 by Force Food Company, one of three American companies owned by Edward Ellsworth was advertised using a popular cartoon figure called Sunny Jim. Force was the first commercially successful wheat flake cereal. The product was cheap to produce and had a good shelf life.
The first advertising copy for the new product described the cereal as "The Food That is all Food", the advertising images showed rosy-cheeked children, and it was sold in a box decorated with images of muscular men wrestling with chains. Perhaps because it was not initially targeted at a well defined market, it did not sell well.
In late 1901 Minnie Maud Hanff, a freelance jingle writer, invented the character Jimmy Dumps, a morose character who on eating the cereal was transformed into Sunny Jim. Dorothy Ficken produced line drawings, and Hanff produced light hearted jingles describing Sunny Jim's transformation. The advertisements appeared in magazines, on billboards, and on the sides of urban trolley cars from May 1902 through to the fall.
The campaign was wildly successful. Force was originally produced in a single plant in Buffalo, but by early 1904 the Canadian Grocer reported that there was one more Force food mill in Buffalo, a third mill in Chicago and one in Hamilton, Ontario, producing a total of 360,000 packages per day.

Force Foods Sunny Jim's Record
Old Kentucky Home

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