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Quaker Oats

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43116.  Wed Jan 04, 2006 5:29 pm Reply with quote

Jenny's excellent suggestion that Quaker Oats have nothing to do with The Society of Friends.

Several Quaker families went into chocolate-making. As well as Cadbury, there were the Rowntree and Fry families.

The reason so many Friends went into retail businesses and manufacturing was that in Britain, since they were not members of the state church, they could not go to university or hold public office until the 19th century. Their beliefs kept them from careers in the military and at that time they tended to avoid the arts (not nowadays for the latter though). The brightest Friends, therefore, often went into business or medicine (which in those days was learned by apprenticeship, not university education).

This is significant for Friends' involvement with chocolate, since doctors recommended chocolate for its medicinal qualities in the 17th and early 18th centuries.

However, the Quakers have absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with Quaker Oats. Maybe that's a General Ignorance question?

A poll on the Quakerinfo website came up with this result:

The popularization of what food is closely connected to members of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers)?

1. Oatmeal (62%)
2. Dry breakfast cereal (0%)
3. Chocolate bar (8%)
4. All of the above (31%)
5. None of the above (0%)

The only one that is correct is number 3.

189464.  Mon Jul 09, 2007 9:54 am Reply with quote

According to Wikipedia:

There is a common misconception that the smiling Quaker found on boxes of Quaker Oats is William Penn. According to the Quaker Oats Company, the image is that of John C. Burns, a part-time actor and Chicago radio host, who died on July 24, 2003 of a heart attack in Orland Park, IL at age 84. The iconic image of the smiling Quaker was painted by Haddon Sundblom in 1957.

Sundblom is also responsible for creating another cultural icon:

189484.  Mon Jul 09, 2007 10:23 am Reply with quote

Sundblom's last assignment was a cover painting for Playboy's Christmas issue in 1972.


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