You may not realize this, but we're passing an important anniversary this year. Mr. Peanut is now 100 years old. In 1916, the Planters Nut and Chocolate Company held a contest to find the best trademark for their growing roasted peanut industry. Antonio Gentile, a 14-year-old son of a friend of the owner, drew a peanut with human characteristics and Mr. Peanut was born. Antonio received $5.00 for winning the contest.
A commercial artist added a top hat and monocle to the anthropomorphic drawing, making it very similar to the icon we still recognize today. He's been on every can of Planter's Peanuts since that time, so it is one of the most recognizable characters on food products today.
Through the 20s and 30s, Mr. Peanut sold many bags and cans of Planter's Peanuts to people all over our country. By the mid-30s, he became the symbol of the entire peanut industry to many people. He appeared in advertisements from magazines to billboards. The first Mr. Peanut billboard appeared in Time Square in 1938.
He changed slightly with each passing era of the history of our country. During the 1940s, he even appeared in ads promoting our soldiers as they fought in World War II across the globe.
It's hard to believe that this long-lasting icon of Planter's Peanuts has been around for 100 years. He's aged very well! Now go out and have some nuts!
Information taken from Mr. Peanut and Antonio Gentile and Mr. Peanut - Wikipedia