General Mills history image with Pillsbury, Wheaties

History

Starting with two flour mills in the 1860s, General Mills revolutionized the milling industry, producing flour with superior baking properties.

 By the 1960s, we were marketing children's products such as Play-Doh, Easy Bake Ovens, Spirograph, Monopoly and Nerf balls.

In between, we associated with such memorable characters as Betty Crocker, Rocky & Bullwinkle, the Lone Ranger and the Pillsbury Doughboy.

And what happened after our Wheaties - The Breakfast of Champions - began sponsoring baseball radio broadcasts in 1933 could be a movie script.


Radio listeners voted Ronald "Dutch" Reagan as the country’s most popular Wheaties baseball announcer in 1937, which earned him a free trip to California for a screen test. Reagan became a Hollywood star and eventually was elected president of the United States, as you know.

alvin submersible 

Courtesy of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution 

Blazing a presidential path

You might not know that when the sunken Titanic was explored by oceanographer Robert Ballard in 1986 that he did it in a three-person submarine designed and built at General Mills in the early 1960s. ALVIN made 11 dives to that Titanic site.

These days, our focus is on food - making lives around the world healthier, easier and richer.

We’d need an entire website to capture our rich history, but you can find more here, including our origin.

 

miller with wheel

General Mills timeline

Through the years (PDF) Go
 
history book thumbnail

Innovation, invention, food & fun

From flour to submarines to toys to restaurants. Go
 
pillsbury doughboy

Charmin' characters

Hi! I’m Poppin’ Fresh. Go
 
vintage general mills images

History blog

Something new about something old Go