Molded Plastic AUNT JEMIMA & MOSE SHAKERS 3 ½” Black Americana Circa 1940s (A)
This set of AUNT JEMINA AND UNCLE MOSE SHAKERS made by Fiedler & Fiedler (F & F) Mold and Die Works Company of Dayton, Ohio in the late 1940s, were Quaker Oats premiums given to customers in exchange for Aunt Jemima Pancake Mix box tops.
The 3 ½” high pair is made from molded hard red plastic finished with spray painted facial features, skin tones and clothing, and is the smallest size of two sizes* of the promotional shakers produced to market the pancake mix.
The AUNT JEMIMA SHAKER holds a white platter, wears a red dress and headscarf and a white apron and neckerchief. She is still filled with salt. The UNCLE MOSE SHAKER holds a black top hat, wears a red suit jacket and yellow slacks and bowtie. Both characters were inspired by songs.
The Aunt Jemima character, the “face and brand” of the one of the most recognized brands in U.S. history was based on a vaudeville song, while the Uncle Mose character was based on the song "Old Man Mose" written by jazz musicians, Louis Armstrong and Zilner Randolph in 1935.
Quaker Oats announced in June 2020 that Aunt Jemima will be retired from the brand and replaced with a new name and image "to make progress toward racial equality” as it is seen as stereotypical.
The F & F Mold & Die Works Dayton, Ohio mark inside a medallion shape is embossed on each bottom. Below are the words, MADE IN THE USA. A variation of this shaker has AUNT JEMIMA and UNCLE MOSE embossed on the back--this set does not. Both shakers are nearly perfect have their green plastic stoppers. Uncle Mose has a few areas missing paint but Aunt Jemima appears perfect. Please review the photos carefully.
About Black Americana: Black Americana, sometimes called Black Memorabilia refers to collectible objects and ephemera that has an African American theme. Although the theme and design of these items will often contain racist imagery can be very offensive, this is not always the case. Some black memorabilia have positive themes and reflect important events and people, such as the civil rights movement, musicians, scholars and/or members of the black community who have made a difference in our world.
In either case, it is important to remember that these items represent a very important historical record--a snapshot in time that should provide us an understanding of how black Americans were unfairly seen and treated for so many decades. While some believe that the preservation of Black Americana will only prolong racist prejudices, others collect so that history of Black America will not be forgotten by future generations. The founder of the Jim Crow Museum at Ferris State University in Michigan said about these items: “Use items of intolerance to teach tolerance.”
For more information and to better understand Black Americana, visit the Jim Crow Museum at Ferris State University.
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