Dolls from popular flour manufacturer came in two sizes

“For Young and Old …the best flour sold.”  Initially the Ceresota Flour Guy was the trademark used by the Northwestern Milling Company for a product called Ceresota Flour.

According to company legend, the Ceresota Flour Boy is named after the Roman Goddess of agriculture, Ceres. The Ceresota Flour Boy trademark represents honor, integrity and devotion. In the beginning the Ceresota Flour Boy advertising character was sitting on a wooden stool on the Ceresota Flour boxes in the late 1800s.

According to Joleen Robison and Kay Sellers, authors of Advertising Dolls, © 1992, Collectors Books, there were several Ceresota Flour Boy promotional dolls. The book pictures a 1912 oil painted cloth doll. The 16-inch doll has red pants, a short sleeved white shirt, blue suspenders, black boots and a brown hat. “Ceresota Flour” is printed on the front of the shirt. A disk on the back of the suspenders reads, “Northwestern Consolidated Milling Co. and “Ceresota.”   

Another 1972 Ceresota Flour Boy doll is a 15-inch cloth doll, made by the Chase Bag Company, was originally advertised on packages of Ceresota Flour. Anyone could have one in exchange for $1. The clothing on the doll is lithographed.  The Ceresota Flour Boy I wearing a white shirt without a collar, blue suspenders buttoned to burgundy pants. The hat matches the pants and has a blue ribbon. The high top shoes are brown with yellow and red socks.

The 1972 doll has eyes as blue as his suspenders and a sincere sober expression on his face. The doll lips are bright red like the printing on the front of the white shirt “Ceresota Flour.” hat to match.   “The Northwestern Milling Co.” is printed on the back of the dolls suspenders. He has brown boots and wine-red, knee length trousers.

One of the nicest Ceresota Flour Boy dolls was offered by Franklin Heirloom in 1985. This 12.5-inch doll has porcelain head, arms, and legs. The body is cloth.  The hair is molded and painted dark brown and dolls eyes are brown. The clothing is removable except for the boots that are molded to the feet and painted brown... Removable clothing consists of; a white shirt with blue and brown pin stripes; a blue gross grain ribbon tie; and brown knee length trousers with a bib. A tiny Ceresota Flour bag is included with the doll.

Identifying Marks on the doll include molding on the back of the shoulder plate: “Franklin Heirloom Doll ©1985.” This is one of the twelve, Franklin Mint, “Country Store Dolls” that retailed for $60 in the 1980s.  

Collectors of the Ad World also enjoy the small advertising items such as the Ceresota Flour tins, Ceresota Flour Boy playing cards, trade cards, pocket mirrors, cook books, coloring books, magazine ads, pins, match holders and needle point kits. Prices vary and the value is in the eyes of the beholder.