Below is a letter from George Washington Carver to F.M Hoyt & Company gently objecting to this trademark:
November 29, 1929
I beg to acknowledge receipt of your interesting favor of recent date. . .
I believe your idea is a good one and with the advertisement you have in mind, I do not see why the venture should not become popular. I trust that you will, however, understand me and pardon me for making these suggestions.
It is solely in the interest of the peanut industry. I notice your trademark is “Pickaninny” peanuts, and that you are going to have a particularly appealing “Pickaninny” face.
I take it for granted that you are putting up these peanuts with the hope that everyone will buy them and that your trademark will become very popular. Now, my people object seriously to their children being called “Pickaninnies” as the usual Negro child. “Pickaninnies” as they are called by some, are merely caricatures…. I presume that you are acquainted with the unpopularity of the “Pickaninny” pie which was made after the manner of the Eskimo pie, but the caricature of its trade-mark made it very unpopular, so much so, that I understand that the originator had to give up the business. Of course, the “Gold Dust Twins” washing powder, and the “Cream of Wheat”, both colored advertisements, are very popular.
Now, as I stated before, I trust that you will understand me in what I mean and in using these trade-marks, do not have it an ugly cartoon…
I shall be glad to co-operate with you in any way I can, with sincerely good wishes, I am
Very truly yours,
George Washington Carver: In His Own Words
edited by Gary R. Kremer
Unlike Cream of Wheat, of course, “Pickaninny Brand” peanuts and peanut butter did not survive. F.M. Hoyt’s company is among the “forgotten industries” of Amesbury, Massachusetts.
(See also: Jim Crow Museum)
Beach Packaging Design