"The Perfect Soda Cracker" has been around since 1898, shortly after the New York Biscuit Company, American Biscuit & Manufacturing Company, and United States Baking Company merged to form the National Biscuit Company.

The new cracker's lightness and freshness was preserved by a revolutionary "In-er seal" waxpaper-lined box. It proved so popular that in 1902 National Biscuit built the "Uneeda Works" on 10th Avenue in Manhattan, where the "Oreo Biscuit" would be born in 1912.

Because the National Biscuit Company backed its prize biscuit with the first million dollar advertising campaign, there are still vintage Uneeda signs on corners across the country. This sign at Fourth and Harrison Streets in Troy has charming turn-of-the twentieth century typography. However, National Biscuit 's later ads were pictoral, featuring the iconic "Uneeda Biscuit Boy" with his yellow rain slicker and bright box of Uneeda Biscuits in a paper bag.

LEFT: Although the sunbeam motif above the upper front windows is not unique to Troy, it seems especially common in "Collar City" buildings of the 1890s. (2004)

RIGHT: The ubiquity of Uneeda Biscuit advertising is evidenced by a several times repainted sign just a few blocks and two presidents away at Fourth and Polk Streets.

BELOW: Perhaps Troy's best preserved Uneeda sign is on Ferry Street near the Williams Street Alley. Because it lacks the "Perfect Soda Cracker" tag line, it may be more recent than the Fourth Street ads. However, a box of Uneeda Biscuits still cost a nickel when it was painted.

(both photos by Howard Ohlhous, 2007)