General Mills, founded by Cadwallader Washburn, officially became a publicly-traded company in 1928. However, the flour mills on the Mississippi River that would become General Mills began operating in the 1800s.
In 1928, General Mills became listed on the New York Stock Exchange. This is when the company established its name and was forever known as General Mills. The puff-type cereal shapes of its different cereal varieties began in the 1930s when the puffing gun was invented. This was one of the bigger successes of the cereal manufacturer, since it led to the popular Kix cereal in 1937 and Cheerioats in 1941.
In the 1800s, Washburn created the world’s finest flour and earned many medals for it. It was also entered into the International Millers’ Exhibition in 1880.
Over the next several decades, General Mills created many famous brands of food and breakfast cereals. This includes Wheaties, Bisquick and Betty Crocker. General Mills has also been involved with many other famous companies, including Pillsbury, after merging with Green Giant; Kenner, after merging with Parker Brothers; and even Red Lobster, after merging with Burger King.
Popular characters in General Mills’ history include the Lone Ranger, Pillsbury Doughboy, and Rocky and Bullwinkle. The company is also responsible for Easy Bake Ovens, Spirograph, Monopoly, Nerf balls and Play-Doh.