Local Lore

Orange Meat, the "Pure Food" Craze and the American Cereal Wars

Orange Meat

Orange Meat, the "Pure Food" Craze and the American Cereal Wars

In the spring of 1902, the Frontenac Cereal Co. Ltd was formed, with the stated intention of expanding the capacity of the milling operation to include manufactured food-stuffs, in addition to the traditional milling of flour. (Click here to begin at the beginning!) While this sounds like a simple enough proposition, it was quite a novel and audacious plan in 1902. The best way to understand that is to explore the state of breakfast cereal at the turn of the century. At the outset, I'd like to note that this story has been extensively researched and told elsewhere. In particular,...

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A Plan is Hatched: The birth of Kingston's Frontenac Cereal Co. Ltd.

Orange Meat

A Plan is Hatched: The birth of  Kingston's Frontenac Cereal Co. Ltd.

This is the second in a series of blog posts exploring the fascinating history of Kingston's own Orange Meat breakfast cereal. Click here to start at the beginning! Our earliest signs in the public record connected to Orange Meat and the Frontenac Cereal Company start to appear in the spring of 1902. Reporting from the Daily British Whig allows us to identify a very specific date for the establishment of the Frontenac Cereal Company: Monday, May 19, 1902. On that date, noting that "notice of incorporation was received only this morning", the Whig reported the news with the headline: "Big New Company Formed:...

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Pop Culture: Kingston Heritage Sodas

Pop Culture

Pop Culture: Kingston Heritage Sodas

The giants of soda - Coca Cola, Pepsi, and the like, have become so ubiquitous and universally recognizable it is easy to forget that soda used to be a very local thing.  Artificially carbonated water began to become available in North America around the beginning of the19th Century.  Starting around 1820, small carbonated bottling operations began to be established across Canada. Local bottlers in every city and town in Canada developed their own recipe books, names, logos and advertising slogans. They were a familiar part of the communities, often multigenerational family operations. Around that same time, carbonated soda began to...

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What is Orange Meat? The Story of Kingston's Lost Breakfast Cereal

Orange Meat

What is Orange Meat? The Story of Kingston's Lost Breakfast Cereal

The Frontenac Cereal Co., Limited was formed in the spring of 1902, initially comprised of a committee of prominent turn-of-the-century Kingston residents. Right from the outset, the ambitious plan seemed to be to move beyond traditional milling to take advantage of the craze for manufactured "pure" food that was sweeping the slowly industrializing new world. The new company was capitalized at $600,000 - an outrageous sum of money in Canada in 1902 (something in the neighborhood of 15 million dollars). Finally brought to market in October 1903, for a brief time Orange Meat was a brand of national - even international profile. It...

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