Although The Quaker Oats Company actually incorporated in 1901 when several companies were combined forces, Quaker has been around since 1877 when the trademark was registered. It was in 1901 The well-known company has produced many different products, companies and brands, and for collectors -- lots of PREMIUMS!
It all started in Ravenna, Ohio when Henry D. Seymour and William Heston registered the Quaker trademark in 1877. Later Henry Crowell purchased the company and quickly gained acceptance from the public in part because of his method of packaging the oats in a two pound paper package with cooking directions. This is understandable as the method of packaging by his rivals were in the not-so-handy 180 lb barrels.
It is unclear exactly how many different companies were involved in the late 1880s, but those involved in the formation of Quaker Oats as we know now it, include Ferdinand Shoemaker of Akron Ohio, John Stuart and George Douglas of Cedar Rapids Iowa. Their companies include American Cereal Company (founded in 1891) and German Mills American Oatmeal Company (founded in 1856).
Over the years many different premiums were given out to promote the Quaker man, starting with trade cards and puzzles in 1900 era, to cookie jars in 1997. The most popular premium in the 1950's was Sgt Preston of the Yukon Promotion with free deeds for one square inch of land in the Yukon territory. I wish I knew where my square inch deeds were -- I've always wanted to live in the Northwest!
Hake's Guide to Advertising Collectibles shows many items from the early days including the trade cards mentioned above, pin backs, plastic mugs of both the Quaker Man and Roy Rodgers. Numerous Aunt Jemima items were also produced both before the company was acquired by Quaker Oats and after.
Some of the more contemporary items from Quaker Oats include cookie jars. They have been offered as both premiums for consumers and employee-only items.
Aunt Jemima Ad showing the first jar shown below.
Click on each image for more information on that particular jar.