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In the fast life of the candy business, the Campfire brand was purchased by one of their Chicago rivals, Angelus, most famous for Cracker Jack. Angelus had been against it with their own marshmallow brand as Chicago, like Milwaukee, was a top confectionery city. Brach’s and Bunte were just two of the other large brands in the first half of the century. So the name recognition that came with Campfire Marshmallows was terrifically valuable.
It was during Angelus’ ownership that Campfire received a further boost. Malitta Jensen and Mildred Day were looking for an idea to help their Camp Fire Girls make money and wanted to stand out from all the others like the Girl Scouts who sold cookies as a fundraiser.2 The two worked at the Kellogg Company’s home economics department and in 1939 combined the Rice Krispies cereal with melted butter and Campfire brand marshmallows. The recipe for this desert has frequently been printed on the cereal box for decades.
Since 2003, Campfire has been part of the Doumak, Inc which is headquartered just outside of Chicago.4 The company has again embraced the roots of innovation and multiple uses for this confection. 2017 is the hundredth anniversary of Campfire marshmallows and it is aiming to last for at least another century.
Thanks to Doumak, Inc. we can offer this vintage Campfire merchandise on Amazon:
by Joel Willems, curator
-All images used are in the Chudnow Museum of Yesteryear collection-