Edward Brewer "Cream of Wheat Advertisement" with Rastus the Chef (1918): rare, beautifully framed antique
By Edward Brewer
Image Size: H 11.75” x W 8.75”
Matted & Framed: H 18.00” x W 15.25”
Framed Price: $245.00
Whiteglove packaging and shipping approximately $30.00
Edward Brewer (1883-1971) was a notable pioneer in product branding, which became important as corporations nationalized during the last decades of the 19th century and the first decades of the 20th century. EB is remembered today for making Cream of Wheat “the food you never tire of.” He did this by creating a brand icon everyone knew, liked, and trusted. This was of course “Rastus,” the engaging black Chef who tended nettlesome children as he peddled his cereal. In real life, EB’s cheerful, likeble chef was Frank L. White. As the story goes, White was working as a chef in Chicago in 1900 when the owner of the cereal company encountered him. He began his trek into immortality when he granted the cereal maker permission to take his photograph, for which was paid $5.00. EB took over the Cream of Wheat account in 1911. Over the next fifteen years, he stripped away the details of everyday living and focused consumers' attention on the virtuous qualities of the chef, which, in turn, made the product he was promoting desirable. EB's 1918 advertisement highlights the artistic devices he used to make Cream of Wheat successful as a national brand.