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O-SO-GUD Pretzels originated in York

York Pretzel Bakery ad in the York Daily (York, PA) December 7, 1917
York Pretzel Bakery ad in the York Daily (York, PA) December 7, 1917

In my post earlier this week, I noted the York Pretzel Bakery made billions of pretzels annually. The bakery branded their product O-SO-GUD Pretzels. This ad from the December 7th, 1917, issue of the York Daily warned the public “DON’T BE MISLED. There are no worthy substitutes for ‘O-So-Gud’ Pretzels. They are best by every test. The care we take in selecting the ingredients we use explains their superior quality; our sanitary baking method accounts for their clean, bright appearance; our own old fashioned recipe is responsible for that inimitable crispness and nutlike flavor. Ask for them by name.”

Early on, the York Pretzel Bakery protected their brand by applying for an “O-SO-GUD” trademark registration with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Within the November 13, 1915, filing, they stated “O-SO-GUD” was first used in sales of their pretzels on November 9, 1914. On March 28, 1916, the York Pretzel Bakery was granted this initial registered trademark. If you are reading this on the Ydr.com site, click on this LINK for a Full View of the illustrations in this post on the original YorkBlog site; since the ydr.com site will occasionally cut off important details in the cropping of illustrations.

The directors of the York Pretzel Bakery, upon its founding on Pattison Street in York during 1914, were Harry B. Anstine, Gabriel W. Reider, Jacob Beitzel, and Simon A. Barshinger. My previous post supplied some details about Harry Anstine and Simon Barshinger. This post will focus on the other two directors.

Jacob Beitzel had long been in the lumber business and in 1905 was elected President of the Drovers and Mechanics National Bank of York. Gabriel Reider was the company founder with the greatest wealth of bakery business experience. I noticed that Mr. Reider is simply referred to as G. W. Reider in most of my research. Occasionally he is listed as George W. Reider; I don’t know if that was his nickname or if people assumed G. W. likely stood for George, as in George Washington.

Information on the bakery business experience of Gabriel W. Reider comes from his obituary in the May 1920 issue of trade journal “The Cracker Baker;” quoting from page 24:

Word comes to us of the very sudden death, on April 25, of Gabriel W. Reider, president of the York Pretzel Bakery, Inc., of York, Pa. Mr. Reider was one of the pioneers in the pretzel baking industry having been engaged in that branch of the industry for the past 30 years, and during that time exerted every effort to advance that phase of the art of baking. He was a member of the former York Cracker & Biscuit Co., which was later absorbed by the National Biscuit Co. with whom he remained until August, 1914, as manager of the York plant. In 1914 he was elected president of the York Pretzel Bakery, Inc., of which he had been one of the leading promoters, and was actively engaged in the affairs of the company up to the day of his death. Mr. Reider was 65 years old.

I previously did a post on York Cracker Bakery. In 1898, the York Cracker Bakery was one of 114 local bakeries around the United States that were merged into the National Biscuit Company. That York plant of the National Biscuit Company was located on the southwest corner of West Princess Street and Oak Lane; a site now opposite the Agricultural and Industrial Museum of the York County Heritage Trust. The operations in that bakery were moved out of York in 1914; as smaller National Biscuit bakeries across the country were consolidated into larger operations. Evidently, Gabriel W. Reider chose not to move with the company or was let go; either way, he was likely the driving force in the founding of the bakery in York specializing in pretzels.

York Pretzel Bakery ad in the York Daily (York, PA) March 6, 1915
York Pretzel Bakery ad in the York Daily (York, PA) March 6, 1915

This March 6, 1915, ad in the York Daily, represents one of the earliest large-scale advertisements used by the York Pretzel Bakery. The ad states “O-SO-GUD, The Pretzel of Quality. Baked and Packed in a Sunlight Sanitary Bakery with Scientifically Constructed Ovens.”

The York Pretzel Bakery pioneered an item we all know today as pretzel sticks. They applied for protect on their branding of this product by applying for a “SLIM JIM” trademark registration with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. On August 23, 1923, the York Pretzel Bakery was granted the “SLIM JIM” registered trademark for their pretzel sticks.

The National Biscuit Company acquired the York Pretzel Bakery in 1925. The company, who eventually shorting their name to Nabisco, conducted an extensive country-wide marketing campaign in 1927 that featured “O-SO-GUD” Pretzels and “SLIM JIM” Pretzel Sticks. I’ll feature some of these ads in future posts.

Related posts include:

Reading the Headlines: A Quick Index to All YorksPast Posts