Sunday, October 29, 2017

Henry Parsons Crowell (1855–1944)

Henry Parsons Crowell was born on January 27th, 1855. He was the son of a Cleveland grocer and he attended the Greylock Institute (Williamstown, MA), but withdrew after contracting tuberculosis in 1873.

Henry Parsons Crowell was known internationally as founder of the Quaker Oats Company. In 1881 Crowell bought an oat mill in nearby Ravenna, Ohio, that had the latest technology for processing oats (including a patent on a device for cutting oats) so that they could be cooked in mush less time than previous methods.

The mill became the first in the world to maintain under one roof operations to grade, clean, hull, cut, package and ship oatmeal to interstate markets in continuous process that in some aspect anticipate the modern assembly line.

Another asset of the Ravenna oat mill was trademark: the figure of a man dressed in old-fashioned Quaker garb and holding a scroll bearing the word “PURE”. In 1877 it became the first registered trademark for a breakfast cereal.

Crowell liked the trademark and promptly named his company Quaker Mill. His shrewd business sense and marketing genius brought him to the highest levels in business. Crowell served as president and chairman of the board of the Quaker Mill, and its successor corporations American Cereal and later Quaker Oats through 1942.
Henry Parsons Crowell (1855–1944)
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