facts about the invention
of Planters Peanuts by Amedeo
Obici in 1906.
|Amedeo Obici (Ah-may-day-o
O-bee-chee), founder of Planters, was born in 1876 in the small town of Oderzo near
Venice, Italy. When Obici was old enough to read, his widowed mother would show him his
uncle's glowing letters from America. Thus began Obici's dream.
||At age eleven, reality had him pulling up
at Bush Terminal in Brooklyn, New York. An Italian immigrant, 11 years old, not knowing
any English, but going on to become prosperous business innovator. His willingness to work
showed even at this early age. He started his career as a bellhop and fruitstand vendor in
Scranton, Pennsylvania. Later, Obici moved to Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania and opened his
own fruit stand and invested in a peanut roaster. Here he linked his life's fortune with
the peanut. In a few years, Obici turned peddler, using a horse and wagon, and called
himself "The Peanut Specialist". In 1906, Obici went into partnership with Mario
Peruzzi. He had developed his own method of blanching whole roasted peanuts, doing away
with the troublesome hulls and skins; and so with six employees two large roasters, and
crude machinery, Planters was founded. Amedeo Obici realized that prices and first profits
were not nearly so important as repeat business. He proved his operation based on quality
and brand name were important for continued success. Two years later, the firm was
incorporated as Planters Nut and Chocolate Company.
|Mr. Peanut, Planters mascot
is such a nut, everybody's just crazy about him! Since his introduction in 1916, to help
advertise the sales of the country's first roasted peanut company, Mr. Peanut has
become one of the nation's best-known advertising characters. Based on the original
drawing of a 13-year-old boy, the ever-dapper Mr. Peanut eventually added a top hat, white
spats, ebony cane, and monacle to his unique ensemble.
TO LEARN MORE
Creation of "Peanuts"
comic strip from The Great
Carver, Inventor Profile from The Great Idea Finder
History of Snack Foods from The Great Idea Finder
ON THE BOOKSHELF:
Peanut Collectibles: A Handbook and Price Guide
Jim Lindenberger, Joyce Spontak / Paperback / Schiffer Publishing Ltd. -1997
In 1961, after 55 years of the family-style leadership of a private company,
Planters Nut and Chocolate Company was acquired by Standard Brands, but continues to
produce a great number of advertising premiums.
ON THE SCREEN:
DVD / 1 Volume Set / 50 Minutes / History Channel / 76318 / Less than $25.00
It's official--the American diet is a disaster. But it is also
undeniably tasty, and increasingly snack-centric. We consume over 4.3
billion pounds of snack food a year which means the snack is on the
verge of becoming America's favorite meal!
DVD / 1 Volume Set / 50 Minutes / History Channel / 74171 / Less than $25.00
It's a world of creamy fillings, frosted tops and salty morsels. It's a
multi-billion dollar industry where recipes are closely guarded secrets.
It's an American obsession. See what happens before M&Ms get to "melt in
your mouth" at Masterfoods USA, the world's largest candy manufacturer.
At each stop, we'll meet the men and women who keep these tasty treats
coming and the formulators who are working to create the next snack
ON THE WEB:
Planters Official Web Site
Lots of entertainment, nutty facts, recipes, news and games.
Working for Peanuts
You may not have heard of
Planters founder Amedeo Obici, but everyone knows his alter ego, the
suave legume that became an advertising icon.
Amedeo Obici - A Man of Vision
Amedeo Obici founder of Planters, was born in 1876 in the small town of
Oderzo near Venice, Italy.
Museum of Advertising
This Museum has over 650 nostalgic collectibles, with photos, histories and of course Mr.
Half a Century of Fun
The Nut Factory started in 1952 as a roaster of peanuts. Located in Spokane, Washington.
Over the years The Nut Factory has grown into a large snack food manufacturer. They ship
over 600 product every day to businesses everywhere throughout the United States.
Since 1951, the residents of Suffolk and the surrounding communities have been heir
to a legacy of health and hope through the generosity of one man, Amedeo Obici, the
founder of Planter's Peanuts.
Longer Just Peanuts
This is Virginia's peanut belt, the land of Mr. Peanut, the dapper symbol of one of
Suffolk's most venerable institutions, Planters Peanuts Article from the Times
Mr. Peanut was the brainchild of a thirteen year-old Virginia schoolboy
named Antonio Gentile. In a logo contest sponsored by Planters in 1916,
young Antonio submitted a drawing of a peanut person with arms and
crossed legs, which he labeled "Mr. Peanut." Planters awarded Antonio
the grand prize of $5. Later, a professional illustrator reinforced the
impression that Planters nuts were a cut above the ordinary by giving
Antonio's crude peanut person a top hat, monocle, white gloves and cane.
DID YOU KNOW:
- The peanut is really a legume, like a pea.
- The peanut was known in Peru around 1200 to 1500 B.C. well
preserved peanut plants have been found in Inca mummy bundles and burial sites.
- Before the civil war, peanuts were known throughout the South
as "groundnuts", "ground peas", Goober peas", Monkey Nuts",
Pindars", and "Goobers".
- The name "pindar" and "goober" were
African tribal words.
- About 1920 farmers in the southern states were infested with
the boll weevil. They were forced to find another cash crop to take the place of cotton -
they choose peanuts, which turned out to be an excellent substitute.
- The peanut became the favorite food for farm animals, but in
recent years corn is now cheaper to produce and easier to store than peanuts.
- India is by far the largest producer of peanuts in the world,
followed by mainland China. India and China produce over 50% of the world's peanuts. The
United states is in third place.
- About 10% of the United States peanut crop is sold in the
- Peanut kernels which count 60 to 80 peanuts per ounce are
considered small ( such as the Spanish peanut). 40 to 60 peanuts per ounce are medium, and
30 to 40 peanuts per ounce are graded as large.
- The major use of peanuts in the United States is making peanut
- Peanuts contain about 26% protein - higher than dairy
products, eggs, fish, and many cuts of meats.
- A glass of milk and two peanut butter sandwiches provide 83%
of the growing child's daily need for protein!
- The 1990 U.S. Census counted nearly 15 million people of
Italian descent. Even if all 5,000 members of organized crime identified by the
President's commission were Italian American, this would amount to 0.0003 percent of the
current Italian American population or 3 people out of 100,000.
Sources in BOLD Type
page revised February, 2005.
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