This Aunt Jamima Cookie Jar takes us back in time.
Aunt Jemima is a brand of pancake mix, syrup, and other breakfast foods owned by the Quaker Oats Company of Chicago. The trademark dates to 1893, although Aunt Jemima pancake mix debuted in 1889. The Quaker Oats Company first registered the Aunt Jemima trademark in April 1937. Aunt Jemima originally came from a minstrel show as one of their pantheon of stereotypical black characters. The character appears to have been a Reconstruction era addition to that cast.
The R. T. Davis Milling Company hired former slave Nancy Green as a spokesperson for the Aunt Jemima pancake mix in 1890. Nancy Green was born in Montgomery County, Kentucky, and played the Jemima character from 1890 until her death on September 23, 1923.
Aunt Jemima embodied an early twentieth century idealized domesticity that was inspired by old southern hospitality. There were others that capitalized on this theme, such as Uncle Ben’s Riceand Cream of Wheat’s Rastus. The backdrop to the trademark image of Aunt Jemima is a romanticized view of antebellum plantation life. The myth surrounding Aunt Jemima’s secret recipe, family life, and plantation life as a happy slave contributes to the post civil war idealism of southern life and America’s developing consumer culture. Early advertisements used an Aunt Jemima paper doll family as an advertising gimmick to buy the product. Aunt Jemima is represented with her husband, Rastus, whose name was later changed to Uncle Mose to avoid confusion with the Cream of Wheat character, and their five children: Abraham Lincoln, Dilsie, Zeb, and Dinah.
Stop by and check her out!