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Mr. Peanut® Statue

Mr. Peanut® Statue

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Description
This is a cast iron figure in the shape of Mr. Peanut®, the Planters® Nut and Chocolate Company spokes character. This object weighs over 300lbs and was placed on a fence post surrounding the Planters® factory in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. The Planters® company has been using Mr. Peanut® as their trademark since 1916 when they held a contest asking participants to draw a logo they thought best represented the company. A young school boy, Antonio Gentile, drew the winning character, a peanut with arms, legs and in some instances a cane performing different tasks. The drawings were refined by a graphic artist, a top hat, monocle and spats were added and Mr. Peanut® was born.
Planters® was founded in 1906 by Amedeo Obici and his partner, Mario Peruzzi in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. Obici got his start working at a local store selling peanuts, before casting out on his own, selling nuts from a cart. Two years later, they incorporated the business as Planters® Nut and Chocolate Company. They eventually moved to Suffolk, Virginia to be closer to the peanut farms. In 1961, the company was sold to Standard Brands, which merged with Nabisco in 1981. In 2000, Kraft Foods acquired Nabisco, but the Planters® brand is still in use today (2014).
Object Name
statue
date made
1920s
Physical Description
iron (overall material)
brown (overall color)
black (overall color)
white (overall color)
Measurements
overall without base: 38 in x 18 1/2 in x 8 in; 96.52 cm x 46.99 cm x 20.32 cm
ID Number
2013.0308.01
catalog number
2013.0308.01
accession number
2013.0308
Credit Line
Gift of Kraft Foods Group, Inc.
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Work and Industry: Retail and Marketing
Advertising
American Enterprise
Exhibition
American Enterprise
Exhibition Location
National Museum of American History
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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Comments

My wife and I purchased an original Mr. Peanut statue today from an on-line auction in Texas. We are so excited. My wife, Jane Gregory Savage - class of 1971 from Suffolk High School, was raised on South Main Street just blocks away from Planters. She has fond memories of the scent of roasting peanuts and receiving tins of complimentary peanuts from Planters they passed out door to door at Christmas time. It's kind of crazy what we paid for that statue, yet we will have it restored to its original state and proudly display it in our home in Tampa. It's also quite strange that the most expensive art we have will be a MR. PEANUT. Great memories!!!
I visited Suffolk today and was disappointed there wasn’t a larger presence of Mr. Peanut. Where did the large statue go. All we found was one small statue atop a monument In a corner park and the small statues on the fence outside the factory.
I lived in Suffolk VA in 1954 to 1955 and remember seeing a large Mr. Peanut standing in (I believe) a field near the road we took to Norfolk VA to visit my grandparents. I was 5 at the time. Is it possible this statue was moved from PA to VA and stood in front of the plant or perhaps another similar to the original is what I remember. I would be very interested to know whatever information you have regarding this. Thank you in advance for any information you may provide.
I grew up in Suffolk, Va. There were maybe 100 of those statues surrounding Planters headquarters in Suffolk. People used to steal and vandalize them all the time. By the time the plant closed there were very few left still on their pillars.

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