Earl Mitchell, Sr. was born April 13, 1884.
He became a salesman for the Chattanooga Bakery by 1917.
The exact history of the MoonPie has been lost, but Earl Mitchell Jr. claimed his father came up with the idea while working the Kentucky sales area for the Chattanooga Bakery.
When his father asked a company store manager that catered to coal miners, or so the story goes, what kind of snack the coal miners might enjoy having to eat, they replied; something solid and filling because they often didn’t get time to break for lunch.
When Earl, Sr. asked a coal miner how big this snack should be, the miner looked up to the night sky, framed the full moon with his hands, and replied as big as the moon.
Back at the bakery, Mitchell noticed some of the workers dipping a graham cracker in marshmallow and setting it in the window sill for the sun to harden. They would then dip it in chocolate before eating it.
The size ultimately was determined by the miners circled fingers around the moon so that it would fit in their lunch pails, and the use of the moon led to the name of the product.
Bakers back at the Chattanooga Bakery combined the recently-introduced Marshmallow creme fluff with graham crackers to devise an early sandwich-like prototype to the Moon Pie. Then chocolate was added to create roughly the final product known to this day.
The MoonPie brand was trademarked January 1, 1919.
During the Great Depression, people began the custom of eating Moon Pies along with RC Cola. Inexpensive prices, combined with their larger serving sizes, contributed to this combination known as the “working man’s lunch”.
The popularity of this combination was celebrated in a popular song of the 1950s, by Big Bill Lister, “Gimmee an RC Cola and a Moon Pie.”.
An annual RC & Moon Pie Festival is still celebrated in Bell Buckle, Tennessee.
Earl W. Mitchell, Sr. Died October 21, 1945
Now WE know em