May 13, 2011 • By

A blast from our past

Hello! My name is Suzy Goodsell, and I love to talk about the rich, entertaining and often surprising history of General Mills. So this blog, and its “History” category, is the perfect forum for me to tell you some of the company’s most interesting tales.

Now, you probably think of General Mills as just another food company. But our story extends way beyond food and the fact that we’re one of the leading food manufacturers in the world. (By the way, we operate in more than 100 companies and market more than 100 brands.)

General Mills has been making a difference in people’s lives all the way back to 1866, to a pair of flour mills on opposite banks of the Mississippi River in what would become the city of Minneapolis, Minn.

Even before the name “General Mills” was incorporated in 1928, our predecessor company had a keen understanding of who purchased flour and cereal products. We soon leaped beyond the grocery aisles to building computers and a deep-diving submarine named Alvin. We created beloved advertising icons, the Wheaties Explorer Telescope, and much more.

Those are just some of the stories I’ll be telling you in my posts.

The things I’ll write about come from my passion for the company’s history. I work with a great team of two other history lovers here at General Mills who spend time with a vast and impressive collection of company memorabilia.

It’s all in the official General Mills Archives.

Through the years, our papers, photos, packages and films have been sorted, organized and carefully catalogued in a dedicated space that’s both temperature and humidity controlled at the company’s headquarters in Minnesota.

We’re primarily a business archive, which means we research answers to questions and assist employees looking for information or items to support current company projects. For example, we might supply packaging images for a presentation or locate old Pillsbury ads for current marketers to use as inspiration as they dream up new campaigns.

We also happen to know where to find a Betty Crocker Easy-bake oven or a 1958 Marshall Wyatt Earp Ring.

Just don’t ask us if we ever eat stale cereal from the cereal boxes in the Archives. For the record, the answer is no. We remove the liner and just save the packaging.

So I hope you’ll join me as I dig deep into the General Mills archives and reveal some of our favorite memories.

Who knows what we might find!