Ralston Purina Company bond certificate specimen (cereal - pet food)
Neat food collectible. Interesting vignette of the company's founder in front a map of the world. Famous checkerboard logo to the left and right. Unissued and notcancelled. Specimen circa 1970's from similar issued pieces.
Ralston Purina Company was a St. Louis, Missouri-based American animal feed and pet food company. On December 12, 2001, it merged with Swiss food-giant Nestlé's Friskies division to form Nestlé Purina PetCare Company.
Ralston Purina traces its roots to 1894, when founder William H. Danforth established the animal feed company Purina Mills. Its predominant brand for each animal was generally referred to as "Chow"; hence "Purina Horse Chow", "Purina Dog Chow", "Purina Cat Chow", "Purina Rabbit Chow", "Purina Pig Chow" and even "Purina Monkey Chow". Later, the company began producing cereal, which received endorsement by Webster Edgerly, founder of Ralstonism, to market Ralston breakfast cereals. Edgerly was at the time promoting the consumption of whole grain cereal. These cereals became so successful that the name of the enterprise was changed in 1902 to the "Ralston-Purina Company".
In 1986, Ralston Purina sold Purina Mills, its US animal feed business, to British Petroleum. Purina Mills is now owned by Land O'Lakes. In 1994, the Ralston "human food" operations of the Ralston Purina Company were spun off into a new company called Ralcorp Holdings. In 1998, Ralston Purina spun off its international animal feed business as Agribrands which was acquired by Cargill in 2001. The animal feed businesses continue to use the Purina and Chow brands which Purina Mills and Cargill license for use in the US and internationally, respectively.
In 1977, Ralston Purina acquired Missouri Arena Corporation and the St. Louis Blues National Hockey League franchise. During the company's ownership of the team, they changed the name of the St. Louis Arena to the Checkerdome, reflecting the Ralston Purina logo. The franchise was sold to Harry Ornest on July 27, 1983. Ralston Purina purchased the Eveready Battery Company in 1986, owner of the Eveready and Energizer brands. The company was spun off in 2000. Ralston Purina purchased Continental Baking Company, makers of Wonder bread and Hostess cakes, from ITT in 1984. Ralston spun off Continental Baking Company, subsequently bought by Irving, Texas-based Interstate Brands Corporation (IBC).
Ralston Purina opened test market pizza stores called Checkerboard Pizza in 1986. The format was similar to Domino's and Little Caesars. They opened the stores in markets like Moorhead, MN, to test how the Midwestern market would accept the concept. They did well, but Ralston Purina decided not to enter the pizza franchise business and closed all pilots by late 1987. Ralston Purina owned and further developed the Keystone ski resort in Colorado. The "Checkerboard" slope for kids / beginners at Keystone still bears their logo.
Ralston Purina also owned Jack in the Box fast food restaurants from 1968 to 1985, along with several high end restaurants. Ralston Purina owned Van Camp Sea Food Company from 1963 to 1988, a tuna cannery with Chicken of the Sea as its main product. Ralston Purina owned an animal pharmaceutical company in the 1970s and 1980s.