Edwin Perkins: Kool-Aid Inventor
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Move to Chicago


Edwin Perkins in the 1930s
Edwin Perkins in the 1930s.
Courtesy Hastings Museum

During the Great Depression, demand for Kool-Aid actually escalated, and the Hastings location became too small. In 1931, the Perkins Products Company moved from Hastings to Chicago. From starting with just his family as his company in Hastings, Perkins’ workforce grew to 350 workers in Chicago by 1950.

In 1953 when Perkins was 64 years old, he sold his company to the General Foods Corporation. After their retirement, Edwin and Kitty Perkins still considered Hastings their home and were buried there, Edwin in 1961 and Kitty in 1977. They gave a great deal back to the community through donations to Hastings College, Lanning Hospital, and other favorite institutions.


Perkins Products Company factory in Chicago
Perkins Products Company factory in Chicago.
Courtesy Hastings Museum
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