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Planters Peanut Float and Product Mobile Wilkes-Barre Pennsylvania

Planters Peanuts were first processed and sold in 1906 at Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania by a partnership of Amedeo Obici an immigrant from Italy and Mario Peruzzi. The later had developed a process to remove the peanut shells followed by roasting and blanching the nuts to lighten the color. The headquarters of the business, an office building (which has survived) and a warehouse were constructed at 632 South Main St. in Wilkes-Barre that is visible in today’s featured photos.

  • Planters Peanut product mobile on a late-1920s Dodge Brothers chassis.

The lead image and the enlargeable version of it (below) contain an “New Design” GMC panel truck and a parade float which was used in a co-promotion by Planters and Anthracite Coal interests in the area. The image (above) contains a mid-to-late 1920s Planters Peanut product mobile constructed on a four-cylinder Dodge Brothers auto or pickup truck chassis.

Learn more about the history of Planters at the Pennsylvania Center for the Book. Share with us what you find of interest in the photos courtesy of the Wilkes-Barre Preservation Society.

18 responses to “Planters Peanut Float and Product Mobile Wilkes-Barre Pennsylvania

  1. Clearly Pa. if they are advertising coal. Kind of an unlikely combination, coal and peanuts. When advertising with vehicles was huge. Chicken vans, milk bottle trucks, and of course, the grand daddy of them all, the Wienermobile. Not to nit pick, but the GMC’s were called New Design, Chevy was Advanced Design. The trailer has an unusual hitch and small wheel. I’ve never seen anything like that.

  2. LOL–Kind of pales in comparison to the peanut-mobile seen today in commercials where it jumps a ramp! The license plate on it reads, “lkn 4 nuts”!

  3. I agree with Howard Arbiture, coal and peanuts seems like an unlikely combination. I wonder if coal was used to provide heat to roast the peanuts, thus the connection that way?

    • Hi Charles, I’m a midwestern boy, but out east back then, I bet coal was huge. Perhaps the coal company owned the peanut farm or visa versa. The Planters peanut story, I read, is really an incredible one. This Obici guy started with a fruit stand, invested in a peanut roaster, developed a method of blanching them and the rest is history. I’m not sure how it got the Planters name.

    • As the sign says, Sep 20 thru 26 was “Anthracite Week” in Wilkes Barre and if you’re gonna have a week long celebration of the local product, you need a parade to top it off. Clearly, Planters, another local institution, got pride of place by sponsoring the float for “Miss Anthracite.” Wonder if they tossed lumps of coal to the folks lining the parade route? Clinkers?

      Remember folks, Buy hard coal, Burn hard coal and Boost hard coal. It burns hotter, longer and is well worth the extra cost. Tell all your friends and relatives!

      n.b. Blue Coal was a popular brand of anthracite that was dyed with a bluish hue at the mine to differentiate it in the market place and brought you “The Shadow” every week.

  4. In 1913 Obici moved to Suffolk, Virginia, which was the peanut capitol of the world. Planter’s opened their first mass production facility there. My maternal grandfather helped build and operate that facility.

  5. Anthracite coal is a northeast PA product, hard coal that burns hotter and cleaner than soft coal. They were boosting another local product, although the coal guys might have chipped in on the float.

  6. My sister lives north of there in Dunmore. Never knew this fact. For some reason I enjoy these relatively useless facts. If you are ever in Lacawanna County (Scranton) take the coal mine tour at McDade Park. That whole valley is hollow with mines above and below each other.

    Years ago, I’m driving on a road at the edge of town in Torrington CT. Middle of winter, Burr Mountain Rd. Wooden sign “Site of the World’s First Condensed Milk Factory established by Gail Borden”. A real head scratcher on “Why there?”

    • Given that Borden was fromTexas, that’s a fair question. Apparently that’s “where the money was,” in this case two backers for his planned enterprise. And presumably cows as well. This after his “meat biscuit” didn’t turn out too well in the marketplace.

    • Hi Bob, by golly, I think you are right. I never heard that term and spent my whole life in the trucking industry. Apparently, there were several kinds. When researching it, a more famous slimp dolly was affixed to the front of the Lucille Ball movie trailer in “The Long, Long Trailer”.

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