The Strange Name Minnesota’s Land O’Lakes Was Almost Called
History is filled with serendipitous moments, and thanks to one, this famous Minnesota company was nearly called something much more strange!
I love hearing about those quirks of history here in the Land of 10,000 Lakes. Little things that weren't necessarily a big deal at the time they happened but moments that could have completely altered the course of history.
One of them happens to concern the name of a familiar Minnesota company, Land O'Lakes. If you've eaten any dairy product here in the North Star State (like butter, cottage cheese and more) you're no doubt familiar with that trusted brand.
Land O'Lakes, which is headquartered in Arden Hills, has been around since 1921. It was recently the only company here in the Gopher State to be included in TIME's 2023 list of the Most Influential Companies.
But did you know it was nearly known by a much different name? According to the About Us section of Land O'Lakes website, the company was originally called the Minnesota Cooperative Creameries Association. However, looking for something a little more memorable for their sweet cream butter, the company held a contest to find a new name.
They offered up $500 in gold to whoever came up with the winning name. (BTW, that was QUITE the prize back then, and would be worth nearly $8,500 today!) And while Ida Foss and George Swift submitted the name Land O'Lakes and won the contest, check out the other two choices which took second and third place.
Maid O' the West and Tommy Tucker.
That's right, our familiar Land O'Lakes butter, cottage cheese and other dairy products were nearly called Maid O' the West (which is kinda close to Land O'Lakes) or Tommy Tucker, which apparently a nod to the old nursery rhyme about the guy who 'sings for his supper.'
I'm glad Ida and George's suggestion of Land O'Lakes won the contest, right? Speaking of famous companies, how many can you identify by looking at their logos? Keep scrolling to find out!
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QUIZ: Can you identify 50 famous companies by their logos?