Kansas City, MO

These four historical products were either born or made in Kansas City

CJ Coombs

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Photo by Nick Torontali on Unsplash.

The popular summer treat--the Bomb Pop

It really is iconic with its patriotic colors, especially when this popsicle is handed out to family members on the 4th of July!

In l955, the Bomb Pop was born. The original inventors were D.S. "Doc" Abernathy and James S. Merritt of Merritt Foods in Kansas City, Missouri. The flavors on this cold firecracker are cherry, lime, and blue raspberry. After Merritt Foods stopped operating in 1991, the manufacturing of the famous Bomb Pop was sold to Wells Dairy in Iowa. It's still made in Iowa out of La Mars. Wells Dairy is known for making a lot of ice cream, notably the Blue Bunny brand.

Supposedly, the last Thursday in June is National Bomb Pop Day.

Do you have a bumper sticker on your vehicle?

There are so many bumper stickers on vehicles intended for one purpose or another, especially the practical one that reads "How's My Driving?" with the phone number you can call and report any unusual driving habits.

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The owner of this car has many stickers.Photo by RHoch, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons.

Silkscreen printer, Forest P. Gill, from Kansas City, Kansas has been credited with developing the bumper sticker. He saw that self-adhesive paper used during World War II could be used to market products.

One day in the mid-1940s, Forest Gill, the owner of a print shop, knelt down in a Kansas City parking lot and measured a car’s bumper. Ever since the automobile age began, drivers had advertised their opinions with handmade placards tied to their cars with bits of twine. Gill realized that he could make “bumper signs” forever obsolete. (Source.)

When's the last time you used your crockpot?

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Photo by Janine from Mililani, Hawaii, United States, CC BY 2.0, Wikimedia Commons.

During the 1940s, slow cookers became popular. After all, who wouldn't like the idea of tossing your meat and vegetables into a slow cooker in the morning, go to work, and then get home and serve it up? Did you have Crock-Pot meals growing up?

An electrical engineer by the name of Irving Nachumsohn developed the Naxon Beanery All-Purpose Cooker intended to cook beans for a meal. His inspiration came from a Jewish stew his grandmother used to bake in the oven for hours.

Nachumsohn eventually changed his last name to Naxon because his name was German and in the era of World War II, even though he was American, having a German name wasn't popular. He started Naxon Utilities Corporation where he could work on inventions.

In January 1940, Naxon's slow cooker was finally patented after applying for the patent four years earlier.

In 1970, Naxon retired. He sold his business to Rival Manufacturing in Kansas City and by the mid-70s, there were six Rival manufacturing facilities in Missouri. The Crock Pot had a peak year of sales in 1975 at $273 million and revenue would go up and down. With its success, Rival began acquiring other companies in the 1990s and the rest is history.

Salad dressing anyone?

When you need Italian salad dressing, you might be searching for the Wish-Bone label. Did you ever wonder where it came from?

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Photo by Louis Hansel on Unsplash.

In 1945, Phillip Sollomi, a World War II veteran, decided to open up a family-style chicken restaurant in Kansas City, Missouri. The restaurant was called the Wish-Bone and was opened in a residence that had been renovated. In 1948, Sollomi showcased his mother's salad dressing recipe she brought from Sicily.

Customers fell in love right there. As demand grew, Phil began mixing the dressing in a 50-gallon drum, bottling it up as fast as they could pour it. But not before his mother would slap on its unmistakable label:
'THE KANSAS CITY WISH-BONE® FAMOUS ITALIAN-STYLE DRESSING' (Source.)
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The Wish-Bone Restaurant was at 45th & Main in Kansas City, Missouri.Pinterest.

In 1957, Sollomi sold the salad dressing operation to T.J. Lipton (part of Unilever). In 2013, Wish-Bone was acquired by Pinnacle Foods and in 2018, ConAgra acquired Pinnacle Foods.

As reported by The Pitch in 2013 by the late Charles Ferruzza, in case you're wondering what happened to the Wish-Bone Restaurant, it was bought by Stan Glazer in 1980 until the regular customers stopped coming.

Thank you for reading.

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30 years of legal secretarial experience, and a BA in Eng Journalism & Creative Writing. Thinker, giver, and lover of life. Born into Air Force service life, my life has taken me to Louisiana, Idaho, Kauai, Nebraska, South Dakota, and Missouri. I love family, art, truth, non-fiction, reading, history, and travel.

Kansas City, MO
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