Gold was discovered in the Yukon on this day in 1896 prompting our blog topic of Yukon Gold Rush Klondike Big Inch Land Letters.
The YouTube included takes you through the story of the
Quaker Oats 1955 ad campaign;
printing twenty-one million square-inch of land deeds
for 19 acres of land in the Yukon Territory – all to sell Puffed Rice!
There are several ‘print’ versions of the story I came across. This article is a new favorite to share. If you are trying to scoot out the door on your way to work you may want to bookmark and come back and enjoy later.
One can loose track of time in reading all of the details in this YukonInfo.com article – The Klondike Big Inch.
“DAWSON, Yukon Territory – Once upon a time there was an advertising executive in a City called Chicago. His job was to make children yell, “Mommy, I want Quaker Puffed Rice!”
For many years, this man told the children his cereal was shot from guns. This helped his sales.
But other cereals had talking tigers and gave away prizes in every box. This hurt his sales. What could the poor businessman do?
He needed a new idea. Or else he would need a new job. He had to think of something catchy and simple and it had to do with the cereal’s radio show about a Mountie in the Yukon. Suddenly, the man knew!
In each box of Puffed Rice and Puffed Wheat he would give away a square inch of land in the romantic Yukon right here in Dawson where Sergeant Preston and his trusty dog King had their adventures every week.
And so began the Great Klondike Big Inch land Caper, one of the most successful sales promotions in North American business history. …
The article includes sharing details of stories of letters that continue to pour in. “The land titles office has a stack of files containing hundreds of letters from people who want to know what happened to their inch of the Yukon.” …
There is also a newspaper article available online at The Montreal Gazette – Sep 20, 1986.
Whatever happened to the land?
Would you believe — “Not only do these people not own the land now. They never did, because each individual deed was never formally registered. The Klondike Big Inch Land Co., an Illinois subsidiary established to handle the cereal’s land affairs, has gone out of business. And anyway, the Canadian government repossessed all the land back in 1965 for nonpayment of $37.20 in property taxes.”
This sentiment is worth including from the above article. “The deeds were not meant to have any intrinsic value,” Quaker now says, “but rather to give the consumer the romantic appeal of being the owner of a square inch of land in the Yukon.”
In looking at the Quaker Oats website there is no mention of the 1955 ad campaign – I was hoping to see it included on their history page.
Thank you for joining me today for Yukon Gold Rush Klondike Big Inch Land Letters.
If you find yourself in a thrift store and come across one of these Klondike Big Inch Land Co. deeds – get one! Their memorabilia value I’m reading is having more value now than when first discovered in the cereal!
Yukon Gold Rush Klondike Big Inch Land Letters Attribution & Thank you to the following who are referenced
YouTube – A Square Inch of Yukon gold rush territory land Deed in ever box of Quaker Oats scam. Posted by RetroVintageTreasure. Published on Sep 1, 2014.