Q: When I was a child I remember a set of Aunt Jemima and Uncle Mose plastic salt and pepper shakers in our china closet. I have no idea what happened to them, but I found a set a few years ago and the rest is history. I now have two sizes of salt and pepper shakers, a 6-piece spice set, a syrup pitcher, and a sugar and creamer. What is the history of Aunt Jemima and Uncle Mose. What other pieces were made by the F & F Mold & Die Works?
A: Aunt Jemima and Uncle Mose shakers and other items were Quaker Oats premiums made by the F & F Mold & Die Works of Dayton, Ohio, in the late 1940s, but the characters have a long history. Aunt Jemima pancake mix was first made in 1889 by Pearl Milling Company. It was the first pancake mix. The name "Aunt Jemima" was based on a song performed in vaudeville. Pearl Milling Company was sold to R.T. Davis Mill and Manufacturing Company in 1890 and Nancy Green, a former slave, was hired to represent Aunt Jemima. The company name became the Aunt Jemima Mills Company in 1914. Quaker Oats bought the company in 1926. Uncle Mose is a character based on the song "Old Man Mose" written by Louis Armstrong and Zilner Randolph in 1935. You are missing the Aunt Jemima cookie jar. Your 13-piece set retails for about $250. Many reproductions have been made.