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MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Suffolk, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Mr. Peanut

 
 
Mr. Peanut image. Click for full size.
By Cynthia L. Clark, November 6, 2016
1. Mr. Peanut
Inscription. Planters Nut and Chocolate Company, based in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, established a peanut processing factory in Suffolk in 1913. Amedeo Obici, the companyís co-founder, moved to Suffolk and in 1916 sponsored a contest to develop a mascot for Planters. Antonio Gentile, an Italian-American schoolboy who lived with his family in this Hall Place neighborhood, submitted the winning drawing, a peanut with arms, legs, and a cane labeled “Mr. P. Nut Planter.” The character, refined by a commercial artist, began appearing in advertisements by 1917. Mr. Peanut is among the most widely recognized advertising icons in the United States.
 
Erected 2016 by Department of Historic Resources. (Marker Number K-269.)
 
Location. 36° 43.568′ N, 76° 35.022′ W. Marker is in Suffolk, Virginia. Marker is at the intersection of Hall Avenue and South Main Street, on the right when traveling east on Hall Avenue. Touch for map. The marker stands on a park area surrounded by Hall Avenue as the main throughway, South Main Street on the west, Cedar Street to the east, and Johnson Avenue at the south. Marker is in this post office area: Suffolk VA 23434, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker
Beyond the houses, an eastward view, is Kraft Planters factory. image. Click for full size.
By Cynthia L. Clark, November 5, 2016
2. Beyond the houses, an eastward view, is Kraft Planters factory.
. Old City Hall Bell (approx. 0.2 miles away); Obici-Oderzo Fountain Marker (approx. 0.2 miles away); Booker T. Washington High School (approx. ľ mile away); World War II Memorial (approx. 0.6 miles away); Korea and Vietnam Wars Memorial (approx. 0.6 miles away); Civil War Militia of Suffolk and Nansemond County (approx. 0.6 miles away); World War I Monument (approx. 0.6 miles away); Spanish War Veterans Memorial (approx. 0.6 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Suffolk.
 
Regarding Mr. Peanut. The Hall Place neighborhood is adjacent to the Planters factory and its facilities. A statue of Mr. Peanut is a short distance away from this marker, across the railroad tracks, in downtown Suffolk (see photo).
 
Also see . . .
1. Mr. Peanut Goes to the Smithsonian (The History Blog). (Submitted on November 22, 2016, by Cynthia L. Clark of Suffolk, Virginia.)
2. Planters History in Suffolk Virginia (Newspaper Article). The Virginia-Pilot (Submitted on November 22, 2016, by Cynthia L. Clark of Suffolk, Virginia.) 

3. Mr. Peanut and Antonio Gentile (Smithsonian Blog). Smithsonian (Submitted on November 22, 2016, by Cynthia L. Clark of Suffolk, Virginia.) 
 
Additional comments.
1. A Bit of Marker Background
On November 9, 2016, when the “Mr. Peanut” marker was submitted to this
Hall Place Entrance image. Click for full size.
By Cynthia L. Clark, November 5, 2016
3. Hall Place Entrance
database, the year 2008, imprinted below its inscription, was recorded as the erection date. Subsequent additional research, however, revealed that that date is historically incorrect. “Mr. Peanut” was actually erected in 2016, probably near the end of September.

The eight-year discrepancy is seemingly due to the fact that a similar commemorative marker was produced in 2008. That marker, “Mr. Peanut-World Icon,” according to the Virginia Department of Historic Resources (DHR), was approved but never erected because its sponsorship fell through. Nevertheless, there exists, as of December 15, 2016, two images of a Mr. Peanut icon marker in media circulation.

Both images are linked to 2008 as a DHR year of approval. Their inscriptions, however, contain variances. See the photo of “Mr. Peanut-World Icon” and its inscription.

Most people, especially the ones who may visit the erected “Mr. Peanut” marker, will not necessarily know about this part of its history. But for those viewers who happen upon this database, an extra nibble to the “Bite-size Bits of Local, National, and Global History” is here for them.
    — Submitted December 16, 2016, by Cynthia L. Clark of Suffolk, Virginia.

 
Categories. Industry & Commerce
 
The Hall Place neighborhood was established in 1909. image. Click for full size.
By Cynthia L. Clark, November 7, 2016
4. The Hall Place neighborhood was established in 1909.
Downtown Suffolk is north of Mr. Peanut across the railroad tracks. image. Click for full size.
By Cynthia L. Clark, November 5, 2016
5. Downtown Suffolk is north of Mr. Peanut across the railroad tracks.
Mr. Peanut statue in downtown Suffolk. image. Click for full size.
By Cynthia L. Clark, November 7, 2016
6. Mr. Peanut statue in downtown Suffolk.
Character Corner
September 11, 1991
Planters Lifesavers Company in the 75th anniversary year of its famous Mr. Peanut trademark character established the Suffolk character corner in conjunction with the Suffolk Chamber of Commerce to recognize local businesses who exemplify true character through active and successful business-school partnerships. Each segment in the character corner symbolizes a partnership success story

Three circular-shaped plaques embedded in a brick background in front of the statue bear the names of the recognized businesses: Allied Colloids 1991, Penn Engineering 1992, and Bank of Suffolk 1993.
Mr. Peanut-World Icon (Courtesy of markerhistory.com). image. Click for full size.
By Cynthia L. Clark
7. Mr. Peanut-World Icon (Courtesy of markerhistory.com).
This photo of the “Mr. Peanut-World Icon” marker is a screen print captured on December 8, 2016 from markerhistory.com. “Mr. Peanut-World Icon” was approved in 2008 but never erected. Read more under commentary. INSCRIPTION: In 1913, a peanut factory, known as Planterís Nut and Chocolate Factory, moved from Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, to Suffolk. Amedeo Obici, owner of the factory, sponsored a contest to develop a “mascot” for the company in 1916. The winning drawing submitted by twelve year old and fellow Italian American, Antonio Gentile, who lived with his family in their home in this Hall Place neighborhood, was a peanut with arms and legs labeled, “Mr. Peanut.” Mr. Peanut made his world debut in 1918 in the Saturday Evening Post and is now ranked as one of the best-known advertising icons in the world.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on February 2, 2017. This page originally submitted on November 9, 2016, by Cynthia L. Clark of Suffolk, Virginia. This page has been viewed 393 times since then and 133 times this year. Last updated on December 16, 2016, by Cynthia L. Clark of Suffolk, Virginia. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on November 9, 2016, by Cynthia L. Clark of Suffolk, Virginia.   7. submitted on December 16, 2016, by Cynthia L. Clark of Suffolk, Virginia. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.
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