Friday, August 1, 2014

Cadwallader Colden Washburn and General Mills Company

Beginning in 1856, Cadwallader C. Washburn – a future Wisconsin governor (1872 – 1874) acting under his corporate designate, the Minneapolis Milling Company, gained control of and leased the power rights to the water flowing over the St. Anthony Falls to nearby mills operators.

In 1856, Washburn founded his own incredibly large mill, which began to mill four in 1866.

There Washburn, in partnership with John Crosby, built a mill along the Mississippi that came to be called ‘Washburn Folly’ because the locals found it difficult to believe that the flour from Midwestern spring wheat would ever catch on.

The company concentrated on promoting its signature product, Gold Medal flour. In 1928, the Washburn Mills Company soon to be renamed General Mills, introduced a cereal.

He introduced a wheat flake that became Wheaties in the 1920s, and is still popular today.

The cereal’s first connection with sports was not until 1933, when the slogan ‘The Breakfast of Champions’ emerged.

During World War II, General Mills emerged the good citizen as it adapted its Minneapolis facilities for the development and production of intricate torpedo directors for use by the Navy.

General Mills introduced many new cereals, including Trix (1954), Lucky Charms (1963) and Honey Nut Cheerios (1979).

In 2001, General Mills acquired the Pillsbury Company.
Cadwallader Colden Washburn and General Mills Company

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