Home of Mr. Peanut in Fort Smith, Arkansas. This Mr. Peanut sign once stood on at the Planters store on Route 1 in Peabody, MA. By the late 1960s, the store had closed and the sign was altered for the Half Dollar Bar. The bar closed in the 1980s and Planters came and rescued the sign in 1988 and eventually restored it to its former glory. dinerhotline.wordpress.com/2008/03/20/former-mr-peanut-si.... It is currently located at their large processing plant in Fort Smith, Arkansas. The sign, which is about 30' tall, was also manufactured and installed at other Planters locations but I believe this is the only one left. The Fort Smith location is a processing plant which opened here in 1976. There are smaller Mr. Peanut figures on the fencing at the front of the property. "Mr. Peanut was born in 1916, when Planters offered a $5.00 prize for the best sketch suitable for adoption as a trademark icon. A 14-year-old Virginia schoolboy, Antonio Gentile, submitted the winning entry, a drawing of a peanut with arms and legs labeled 'Mr. Peanut.' A commercial artist later added the top hat, monacle and cane." Planters began in 1906 by an Italian immigrant Amedeo Obici in Wilkes Barre, MA. Amedeo Obici (Ah-may-day-o O-bee-chee), founder of Planters, was born in 1876 in the small town of Oderzo near Venice, Italy. When Obici was old enough to read, his widowed mother would show him his uncle's glowing letters from America. Thus began Obici's dream. Arriving in Brooklyn, New York, an 11yr old Italian immigrant, not knowing any English, but went on to become prosperous business innovator. His willingness to work showed even at this early age. He started his career as a bellhop and fruitstand vendor in Scranton, Pennsylvania. Later, Obici moved to Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania and opened his own fruit stand and invested in a peanut roaster. Here he linked his life's fortune with the peanut. In a few years, Obici turned peddler, using a horse and wagon, and called himself "The Peanut Specialist". In 1906, Obici went into partnership with Mario Peruzzi. He had developed his own method of blanching whole roasted peanuts, doing away with the troublesome hulls and skins; and so with six employees two large roasters, and crude machinery, Planters was founded.