History

Where to start? In 1866.

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That's when a man named Cadwallader Washburn built his first flour mills on the banks of the Mississippi River.

It was the beginning of what became General Mills - a beginning that revolutionized the milling industry with flour of superior baking properties.

it also built the city of Minneapolis, Minnesota. Anchored the midwestern region of the United States.

We became General Mills in 1928, when we were first listed on the New York Stock Exchange. 

man wearing goggles watching cereal stream out of puffing gun
 
The puffing gun, developed in the late 1930s,  allowed the company to expand or “puff” different cereal shapes. It was crucial in the development of Kix cereal in 1937, and would be used to create Cheerioats in 1941.

Food and fun

Soon Bisquick, Wheaties, the first official portrait of Betty Crocker and Kix cereal made their names.

But it's difficult to list all the historical highlights of a great American company. 

We've been intertwined with many companies and many famous names:

  • Pillsbury and Green Giant. 
  • Kenner and Parker Brothers.
  • Red Lobster and Burger King.

Then there are the characters such as Rocky & Bullwinkle, the Lone Ranger and the Pillsbury Doughboy.

And we gave a generation or so of kids Play-Doh, Easy Bake Ovens, Spirograph, Monopoly and Nerf balls.

Our history book, in PDF format in the column at your left, will tell you more.

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