Aunt Jemima is a brand of pancake mix, syrup, and other breakfast foods currently owned by the Quaker Oats Company of Chicago. The trademark dates to 1893, although Aunt Jemima pancake mix debuted in 1889. The Quaker Oats Company first registered the Aunt Jemima trademark in April 1937. Aunt Jemima originally came from a minstrel show as one of their pantheon of stereotypical African American characters. Aunt Jemima appears to have been a postbellum addition to that cast. The inspiration for Aunt Jemima was Billy Kersands' American-style minstrelsy/vaudeville song 'Old Aunt Jemima', written in 1875. The Aunt Jemima character was prominent in minstrel shows in the late 19th century, and was later adopted by commercial interests to represent the Aunt Jemima brand. St. Joseph Gazette editor Chris L. Rutt of St. Joseph, Missouri and his friend Charles G. Underwood bought a flour mill in 1888.
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