Quaker Puffed Rice: Shot from Guns!


Advertising is insidious. For a perfect example, check the section on Salem cigarettes in this post. In the same way as my parents’ generation could not listen to the William Tell Overture without shouting “Hi-o Silver!”, I am unable to listen to the 1812 Overture by Tchaikovsky without thinking of Quaker Puffed Rice.


With thanks to Dave Berg

Sadly, no examples of the famous Quaker commercial appear to be extant on the internet. However, the ad featured music from the 1812 overture, of which some versions use actual cannon. The screen would be filled with images of puffed rice flying out of cannons as the music boomed in the background.

Here’s an older ad that highlighted the technique without the use of the music:

Just recently, I stumbled across this video of Lin Hai, an old vendor on the streets of China, using a rice cannon to create his own puffed rice and popcorn right on the street. It gives you an idea of how the Quaker product is made, something I had never really understood.

(Skip to 2:30 to watch the impressive part.)

Edit: I realized this discussion would be incomplete without showing what modern technology has done with this principle:

I saw one of these in operation at a local grocery store – the machine loads a scoop of rice into a press, and a few seconds later shoots out a perfectly-formed rice cake. Unfortunately, rice cakes still taste like styrofoam, but it was fun to watch.

Edit 2: For some odd reason, all the old Quaker commercials featuring the 1812 overture have been scrubbed from the Internet. I find this sad, and it’s not just this instance. A lot of the great old ads that had been captured are taken down by corporate attorneys in the name of “intellectual property protection” or some other nonsense. These ads belong to history and should be available to the public as a record of times and attitudes gone by, even if current marketings strategies have changed.

At any rate, here’s an old commercial featuring the cast of “F Troop” singing about puffed wheat to the tune of the 1812 Overture.

The Old Wolf has spoken.

11 responses to “Quaker Puffed Rice: Shot from Guns!

  1. Pingback: You will read this blog post now! (Available only for a limited time!) | Playing in the World Game

  2. Pingback: Another piece of music, ruined for life | Playing in the World Game

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