Local Lore — Orange Meat

Orange Meat: The Ambition and the Excitement

Orange Meat

Orange Meat: The Ambition and the Excitement

In previous posts in this series, we have been tracing the early days of Kingston's Frontenac Cereal Company. The seed that was planted in early 1902 seemed ready to bear fruit, and the excitement in Kingston was palpable. For the original group of local investors who hatched the plan, it must have been satisfying to see their plans for the Company take form.  The spring and summer of 1903 was a hive of activity at the foot of Gore Street. During these months, the business, transport, and social pages of the local press frequently reported on the progress of the...

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Orange Meat: J.D. Bordeau: The Original Cereal Charlatan

Orange Meat

Orange Meat: J.D. Bordeau: The Original Cereal Charlatan

First time visitor? Start at the beginning, or see all the Orange Meat posts!Of all the characters in this story, J.D. (Jesse) Bordeau is the one that most directly connects our story to the larger history of breakfast cereals and manufactured foods around the world. His presence in Kingston is significant, especially viewed in light of how he spent the years prior. Bordeau was born in 1873. His parents were among the earliest elders of the Seventh Day Adventist church and were operating a Canadian mission in Lower Canada, close to the border with Vermont. Later, they were powerful members of the church...

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Orange Meat: Introducing Mr. Wegner and Mr. Bordeau

Orange Meat

Orange Meat: Introducing Mr. Wegner and Mr. Bordeau

When we last left the Frontenac Cereal Company, it was 1902.  The committee of local interests had added one American, Mr. H.E. Pryor in 1902 (discussed in a previous post here). The next signs that the company had found the additional expertise it needed to retool the existing mill and elevator complex at the bottom of Gore Street into a modern cereal manufacturing plant began to surface at the end of 1902 and early 1903.  The June 13 1903 edition of the Daily British Whig introduces us to the new President of the Frontenac Cereal Company: Mr. F.A. (Fred) Wegner....

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A Diversion: Professor Waddell's Orange Meat Tests

Orange Meat

A Diversion: Professor Waddell's Orange Meat Tests

Since it is summertime, and I am on vacation, I thought it would be a good time to take a short diversion from the main storyline to explore some of the marketing which drew me into the Orange Meat story to begin with.  In particular, I'd like to look at a campaign with a connection to another prominent Kingston institution - Queen's University. Starting around 1906, a series of advertisements ran in newspapers across Canada, featuring the testimony of Dr. John Waddell, chemistry professor at Queen's. The most visually impressive of these ads (Ad #1) features a detailed illustration of...

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Orange Meat: The First American Cereal Warrior comes to Kingston

Orange Meat

Orange Meat: The First American Cereal Warrior comes to Kingston

As spring of 1902 turned to summer, more information about the Frontenac Cereal Company's plans began to be revealed. They had the ambition to enter the prepared food manufacturing business, but this was no simple task. As we discussed in the last post, this was a very new product, the whole industry was only a few years old. This was cutting-edge technology, requiring specialized equipment and machinery. In 1902, the number of people with the expertise to design, build and operate a functioning cereal factory was a short list indeed. It was inevitable that help would be recruited from outside...

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