Turns out the popular confection was invented by two women who worked for the Kellogg’s!
Malitta Jensen and Mildred Day came up with the recipe while working in the Home Economics department of the Battle Creek cereal company in 1939. They originally conceived of the recipe as something they could bake for a fundraiser for their local troop of Campfire Girls. They shared the recipe with their bosses and their bosses shared it with the world, simply hoping to boost sales of the cereal.
That’s the way it went all the way until 1995. By then several manufacturers were already marketing their own pre-made knock-offs of the treats. Not wanting to be left out, Kellogg’s finally began producing their own pre-made Rice Krispies Treats that year.
Here’s a photo of Mildred Day. Alas, we could find no photograph for her co-creator, Malitta Jensen.
BTW – no truth to the rumor that Howdy Doody developed a Treat addiction so bad he sold his left leg for firewood to support his habit.