Box inserts, at the Shredded Wheat Company, began as simply a way to separate the layers of biscuits as they were packed into boxes. They developed over the years into a continuing reason to buy the cereal, even if it was not necessarily your favorite, right through the beginning of inner seal packaging. This made separators unnecessary. At that point, inserts moved on to the smaller type collectible cards, or small plastic or metal trinkets and toys.
These cards were probably among the earliest printed box inserts for Shredded Wheat, short of a plain unprinted piece of cardboard. I believe they preceded even the Alphabet cards, which we know continued to 1929 and the beginnings of National Biscuit Shredded Wheat, so my guess is that they date from the mid 1920’s.
I once saw a sheet of 36 uncut cards, on this same light brown stock, with slogans and messages re: Shredded Wheat, Triscuit, etc. The common element was the “Heating in the Oven Restores Crispness. Use other side for grocery list” message. It is thus fairly safe to assume that these were printed in sheets of 36 consistently, and that there will be 36 different slogans to find. On slogans that include a recipe with Shredded Wheat ingredients, the Heat in Oven line is not present.
There do seem to be at least two types: The first set does not have the line indicating “12 ounces – 12 biscuits;” the second issue includes this line. Some small variances within the set without the 12 ounce/12 biscuit line – a lighter print, a different setting of the test [usually slightly smaller], a missing line of text – would lead us to conclude that, in fact, there are at least three different issues, but these variations are small, and only a truly dedicated collector would be prone to notice. If anyone wants further information on these, please contact me.
On buff stock, as the Alphabet cards, these cards are 7¼” by 3¼”.
All have a headline, and many fine messages about Shredded Wheat and its value. [Note: I have two cards which I suspect are from an even earlier set – they look more primitive, have no headline, are slightly larger – 3½” instead of 3¼” high. I shall list these following this set.]
Type A – with 12 biscuits – 12 ounces message
A – Heat in Oven but no 12 biscuits – 12 ounces;
B – As A, with 12 Biscuits – 12 ounces (follows set A)
[Enough text is given to differentiate the cards from one another. If full text is desired, please contact me.]
A Real Muscle-Making Food
A Shredded Wheat Meal
A Warm Breakfast For Cold Mornings
A Word to the Healthy
All Of the Good Of All The Wheat
All The Bran in the Wheat
All The Bran that’s Good For You
All The Bran You Need
Bear This In Mind
Don’t Sprinkle Bran on SW
Each Package of SW
Every Element The Body Needs
For Any Meal, In Any Season
For Growing Boys and Girls
For the Cold Days
How to Make “SW Bread”
Ideal for Growing Children
Ideal For Any Meal
Let Children Chew
Man’s Real “Staff of Life”
Not A Fat-Making Food
Over 100,000 Visitors Yearly [A set only]
Over 125,000 Visitors Yearly [B set only]
Quickly Becomes a Healthful Habit
Ready in Two Minutes
Season SW to Suit Yourself
See Us Make SW
SW is the one whole wheat favorite
SW in Wafer Form
So Easy to Serve
So Nourishing & Strengthening
The Ideal Cereal
This if Your Invitation
TRISCUIT is not made of flour
TRISUIT is SW in wafer form –
Whole Wheat Favorite of Three Generations
[This list is created from a combination of the A and B sets, so the possibility still exists that other cards exist -perhaps included in the first and not in the second, or the second but not the first, like the “Visitors Yearly” card. I would be very pleased to hear of any new discoveries.]
An earlier set?
No “Heat in Oven:” – no title [probably precede the above]
SW is the most real food for the least money.
Nothing so nourishing and strengthening as SW