Our new Mill Talks series features lectures and panel discussions on topics related to the American Industrial Revolution and the mission of the Charles River Museum of Industry & Innovation, which is to inspire and encourage future innovation in America.


Wednesday, March 22: The Story of Marshmallow Fluff!

This Mill Talk by Mimi Graney, author of "Fluff: The Sticky-Sweet Story of an American Icon," will explore the history of Marshmallow Fluff and the company and people that made it. 

At the turn of the twentieth century, Boston was a booming candy town. Of all the tantalizing treats, nothing has stuck around like Marshmallow Fluff. Since that time, the small, family-run company Durkee-Mower has churned out a century of Fluff with the secretive air of Willy Wonka. Little has been made of this extraordinary legacy—until now.

To author Mimi Graney, Fluff is more than a retro ingredient. It is a story about the merits and pitfalls of adaptation and innovation.

Graney deftly brings the factory floor alive, weaving a fascinating narrative about New England’s forgotten candy industry, changing social roles for women, the advent of commercial radio and modern advertising, and the supermarket revolution. Fluff has survived two world wars, corporate attacks, nutrition battles, and the rise and fall of manufacturing towns. The world has changed around it, yet this icon remains the same.

Author and presenter, Mimi Graney

Author and presenter, Mimi Graney

Mimi Graney is the founder of What the Fluff?, a festival celebrating Marshmallow Fluff that draws thousands annually. Her work in neighborhood economic development takes her to communities across Massachusetts where she focuses on creative industries and food-based businesses. Her favorite way to enjoy Marshmallow Fluff is by the melting spoonful in a mug of hot chocolate.

Come to this Mill Talk and learn a great, local story that will really stick with you!

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Past talks include...

November 2, 2016 - Almost Forgotten Female Inventors

September 28, 2016 - The Ingenious Machinist Paul Moody

July 27, 2016 - The Bicycle Craze of the 1890s: Waltham's Contributions to the Fastest Wheels on Earth