In Search of…The Cream of Wheat Man

26 Feb

In the early days of American advertising, the artwork was often considered expendable, used and then destroyed or thrown away. However, at the beginning of the twentieth century, Emery Mapes, one of Nabisco’s owners, considered advertising as art. Mapes recruited several talented artists, including N.C. Wyeth, James Montgomery Flagg and Edward V. Brewer.

The smiling chef on the Cream of Wheat box was drawn by artist Edward V. Brewer from a photogragh taken of a chef in Chicago. The man was paid $5 to pose in his chef’s hat and jacket. His name was not recorded. However, it is believed to be the image of Frank L. White. He was born in Barbados in 1867 and immigrated to the USA in 1875. He travelled alot, but spent the last 20 years of his life in Leslie, Michigan. Mr. White was convinced that it was his image on the box.

Although he died on Feb. 15, 1938, it was not until 2007 that his grave in Woodlawn Cemetery received a proper headstone, complete with the image from the Cream of Wheat box.

Cream of Wheat Man

“Cream of Wheat is so good to eat

That we have it every day……

We sing this song

It will make us strong

And it makes us shout hooray.

It’s good for growing babies

And grownups too, to eat

For all your family’s breakfasts

You can’t beat Cream of Wheat.”

-From radio show “Let’s Pretend” sponsored by Cream of Wheat

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