1913 Shredded Wheat Advertisement

17-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today: 

Tuesday, January 21, 1913: Nothing to write.

Source: National Food Magazine (January, 1913)
Source: National Food Magazine (January, 1913)

Advertisement Text:

The Call of the Bell

It is music to Johnny’s ears if he starts the day with a warm, nourishing breakfast of Shredded Wheat

–and it’s so easy to get him off to school without fuss or worry because it’s ready-cooked and has in it everything he needs for study or play. It’s the whole wheat, cooked, shredded and baked to a crisp, golden brown.

Simply heat the biscuits in the oven a few moments to restore crispness, then pour hot milk over them adding a little cream and salt, or sweeten to suit the taste. A muscle-making, brain,-building food for children and grown-ups, for athletes and invalids, for outdoor men and indoor men, for workers with hand or brain.

The Only Breakfast Cereal Made in Biscuit Form.

Made only by

The Shredded Wheat Company

Niagara Fall, N.Y.

Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:

Since not much happened a hundred years ago today, I’ll share a 1913 advertisement I found for Shredded Wheat in National Food Magazine.

Back then you were supposed to heat the biscuits and then pour hot milk over them. Strange. . but I decided to try it.

The result—

I ended up with a hot, soft, mushy cereal. I had a difficult time getting past the texture—which was so very different from the crispiness of cold shredded wheat—but it warmed my tummy on a cold winter day.



19 thoughts on “1913 Shredded Wheat Advertisement

  1. I’m guessing these are a lot like our Weet Bix. In winter lots of people add warm milk bit I’ve never heard of warming the cereal. Imdon’t like the slushy factor and prefer to have them with cold milk. they’re pretty good for you…not usually full of sugar like other breakfast cereals.

  2. It’s so neat to read what your Grandmother posted 100 years ago today (even if she didn’t have much to write about!).
    I’m not sure about that Shredded Wheat recipe either. But I love gpcox’s comment!

  3. Enjoyed. Glad you tried the recipe… I don’t think I could get past the mushy texture. It’s funny how hey called the cereal biscuits. My boys are going to try it. Thanks for your posts, we really enjoy them.

    1. Thanks for the suggestion about how to modernize the preparation of hot shredded wheat. I’m going to have to try it again. It really is very similar to other hot cereals. It just took me by surprise since it wasn’t quite what I expected.

  4. your so adventurous 🙂 I guess folks liked things differently back then. Awesome though how the brand has hung around, that’s cool. I usually buy the small ones that fit on a spoon..they’re really filling either way. I like a little brown sugar on top…ya, that’s bad

  5. Fascinating discussion. My Dad (1915-1977) ate Nabisco Shredded Wheat his entire life. I ate with him as I grew up – 40s and 50s. We always ate it as cold cereal. I preferred to crumple the biscuits, with cold milk, sometime friut. Delicious! Still like it, actually. Also, I have a full collection of the Straight Arrow cards that were dividers, in the early 50s!! 😉 Ah, the memories! 😉

  6. I completely forgot how dad would heat his too, that was a memory of the past I thought long forgotten. I may have to try it…

  7. That’s exactly how my grandparents and mom ate shredded wheat. I never could get used to it either and didn’t like it one bit! Of course, back then, a hot breakfast was needed. My father often told me about having to shake snow off of his bed covers in the winter time because the second story of the house he grew up in wasn’t heated and the windows didn’t prevent some snow getting in the house. Brrr. We have it sooooo easy now days.

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