March 6, 1912: The first Oreo Cookie is sold.

The History of the Oreo

On this day in history in 1912, the first Oreo cookie (then known as the Oreo Biscuit) was sold to S.C. Thuesen, a Hoboken grocer. In the 101 years since, Oreos have become one of the most popular cookies in the world with over half a trillion sold. Not that we’re here at Superficial Gallery to shill for Nabisco – Acadia has already made everyone think twice about eating Oreos, and I’m really more of a Peppermint Joe Joe’s gal myself.  However, you can’t deny that the Oreo has become one iconic cookie. So in honor of more than a century of twisting and licking, here are 13 facts you didn’t know about the Oreo.

  1. The Oreo was launched as an imitator of the Hydrox cookie, which had been introduced in 1908. Hydrox were discontinued in 2003. Oreos remain the best selling cookie in the United States.
  2. Oreo C. Collins is a tuxedo cat who received a diploma from Jefferson High School Online in 2009 in a sting designed to bust online diploma mills.
  3. Oreos were originally available in vanilla and lemon-filled flavors, and were sold in bulk for 25 cents per pound.
  4. 20.5 million Oreo cookies are eaten in the U.S. each day.
  5. Wafer cookies are commonly “docked” or stamped with a pattern to ensure even texture. Cookie conspiracy theorists link the Oreo’s design to secret societies from the German military to  Freemasons and the Knights Templar.
  6. Ninth Avenue between 15th and 16th street in Chelsea is known as “Oreo Way” in honor of Nabisco’s one-time New York City factory at that location, which produced the first Oreo cookies.  
  7. More than 500 billion Oreos have been sold since their 1912 introduction.
  8. To promote sales in the Asian market, 300 Chinese “brand ambassadors” were hired to hand out free cookies and spread the Oreo gospel on cookie-themed bicycles. The Oreo is now the best selling cookie in China.
  9. Besides the original vanilla cream filling, other filling flavors have included green tea, dulce de leche, blueberry ice cream, banana, creamsicle, rainbow sherbert, orange-mango, gingerbread, and coconut.
  10. Annual Oreo revenue topped $1 billion world-wide in 2007.
  11. William Turnier, unconfirmed designer of the Oreo cookie pattern, also contributed to the design of Nutter Butters, Ritz crackers, and Milk-Bones.
  12. Oreo is in the top 20 most popular names for cats. It is #90 for dogs.
  13. The lard in the original Oreo recipe was replaced with oil in the 1990’s. With pork fat no longer an ingredient, Oreos were certified kosher in 1998.
Alarming in any decade.

Oreos: Alarming in any decade.