This beloved cartoon hero, who made his debut as a comic strip character in 1929, is known in Sweden as Karl Alfred—and as Iron Arm in Italy and Skipper Skraek in Denmark.
Introduced in 1914, the classic construction toy was created by inventors Charles H. Pajeau and Robert Pettit after they saw children entertain themselves by building structures using pencils and empty spools of thread. Their final product was based on Pythagorean principles, which meant that a triangle made from sticks and spools could become the side of a pyramid.
The name was chosen through a companywide contest. Employees submitted such names as Nutties and Gold Medal Wheat Flakes. Jane Bausman, the wife of the company’s export manager, submitted the name Wheaties, which was chosen as the winner.