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Rotary Dies

Die Cutters

Die Plates

Die Cups

organizations that have been recognized since the program's inception in 1984.  Weidenmiller Company hosted 27 distinguished guests that included Weidenmiller corporate personnel, family and friends.

 

The Weidenmiller Company represents four generations of cookie and cracker designers and die roll makers.  "August Weidenmueller began engraving embossing dies for Nabisco in 1903 at his home workshop at 307 Naslund, now Pensacola, in Chicago.  The first of which was named Baby Bunting, displaying a youthful Davey Crockett character carrying his rifle, followed by a little rabbit," said Tom Weidenmiller.

 

Originally, all dies were made by hand until the first engraving machine was purchased in 1914.  In 1928, Edward Weidenmiller and his brother, Emil, pioneered the first cast aluminum baking plates for Nabisco's Sugar Wafer Cookie.  Aluminum was an immediate cost savings over the old heavy brass plates that cost three times as much to produce.

 

"My Grandfather, August, and my Father, Edward, were the master cookie-artisans who produced the vast majority of dies for the cookie and cracker industry.  My Dad began working for his father at the age of 14 in 1910 and enjoyed designing 'biscuits' well into the 1990's.  He pioneered the very first, true, three dimensional characters for the industry.  Animal figures, McDonaldland® characters, Ninja Turtles® and Keebler's Elfwich® series are just a microcosm of his various creations," said Tom.

 

In 1934, the Edward Weidenmiller Company engineered a Rotary Molding machine "head" to operate in conjunction with the conventional stamping cutter.  Up until that time, all cookies and crackers were formed using only stamping and embossing cutters.  This Rotary machine was installed at Wortz Biscuit Company in Fort Smith, Arkansas.  The Rotary increased the production speeds for making cookies and, years later, is still a favorite of many bakeries.

 

During World War II, Weidenmiller produced die rolls for the military to make the crackers that were commonly known as "K" and "C" rations.  After the war, Jack and Bob Weidenmiller returned home to continue their engineering and manufacturing responsibilities.  Weidenmiller Company, Inc. was officially registered as a corporation in Illinois in 1946.

 

In the next two decades, Weidenmiller's patented Four Roll Wire Cut machine became increasingly popular for making items such as Macaroons, Oatmeal Raisin, Sugar and Vanilla Wafer cookies.  The 1950's and 1960's also saw the industry increasing their production for "hard sweets" (cookies) on the Rotary such as Lorna Doone® Shortbread and the renowned Oreo® Sandwich.  Weidenmiller heavy duty machinery is still in operation today.

 

In the 1970's and 1980's, 3D cookies such as the dinosaur, cartoon and movie characters like The Flintstones, Fat Albert and Mickey Mouse became increasingly popular.  Even crackers were taking more artistic shapes such as fish, whales, animals, sports gear and vegetables.

 

One-hundred years later, Weidenmiller Company continues rolling out the dies that create a wide variety of edible delights for Butter, Girl Scout and Windmill cookies; Maria Biscuits; Captain's Wafers®, Graham, Ritz® and Saltine crackers; Ice Cream Wafers and Chocolate Fudge 'base cakes.'  For the canines, dog bones, turkey legs and pork chop designs are popular.  Hard candies such as Lemon Head®, Red Hots® and Slo Poke suckers have also originated from Weidenmiller die rolls.

 

Colonial (Parmalat), Dare Foods, Ferrara Pan, Grupo Gamesa, Holloway, Keebler (Kellogg), Lance, Nabisco (Kraft), Peek Frean (Kraft), Pepperidge Farm, Salerno, Stauffer's are just a few of the snack food producers who have enjoyed Uniformity Engraved Dies© by Weidenmiller Company for 100 years.

In 1903, August Weidenmiller began manufacturing engraved dies for the cookie and cracker industry, the Wright Brothers were at Kitty Hawk learning to fly and Henry Ford originated mass production for the automobile.

 

The Illinois State Historical Society honored the Weidenmiller Company and 59 other Illinois Centennial businesses on October 10th at a gala dinner at the Palmer House Hilton, Chicago.

 

Thomas E. Weidenmiller, Sr., Chairman, received this unique award for the Company's contribution "to the civic and economic heritage of the State of Illinois." The 60 new Centennial Award winners joined more than 1,100 previous businesses and non-profit

Company History