Saturday, March 31, 2007

Rin-so White, Rin-so Bright!

This Rinso advertisement from 1945 is my favorite full-page ad. It features not only a diabolical pair of twins with drawn-on frocks, but also an informational comic chock full of the information I like to know about soap! If you don't think those grotesquely cheerful twins are questionable, notice the look of hypnotized terror on their mother's face, the strains of the 'Rinso' song echoing in her ears. Even the birds, known to be an excellent judge of character, are seen fleeing away from the girls as they sing their cryptic 'Rinso' song, a syrupy incantation to who knows what dark force! Well, at least Rinso is anti-sneeze!

Thursday, March 29, 2007

40-Fathom Fish: The Other Charlie Tuna?

40-Fathom Fish is a now-defunct brand of seafood, based in Boston, MA. Though it might have been a farfetched claim to suggest that their products would result in neither 'trouble' nor 'fishy odors,' one thing the company could promise was wonderfully fanciful advertising. These two ads are from 1945, and both present their full line of products, alive and swimming. Between delirious chefs and women who seem enamored of suave Charlie Tuna-like sophisticates, it's hard not to feel as if we won 1st prize with these surreal illustrations. Below, the two ads are side by side (as always, click for larger images), or you can examine close-ups of the illustrations below.

Remember, there is nothing 'just as good' as 40-Fathom Fish Products!

Click here for a closer look at the trio of illustrations at the top of the first ad. Or, click here for a closer look at the angel fish in the second picture.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Mr. Peanut at Food With Eyes

If you're a fan of the phenomenal Mr. Peanut, you'll want to head on over to my sister's blog, Food With Eyes. She recently started a fantastic series on this dashing fellow, one of the most enduring spokescharacters of all time. You don't want to miss the impressive selections she has already shared of her astounding Mr. Peanut collection! Go for the monocled legume, stay for the googly eyes!

Fruits Aplenty!

Here is a small collection of fruit themed advertising. The first four ads are from Life magazines dating from the 1940s, and the remainder are from the 1960s.

No, this first advertisement is not promoting those peaches we see tumbling into a bowl. In this case, it's not the fruit but the packaging that is on display. The Can Manufacturers' Institute wants you to know that 'No other container protects like the CAN'! Also, the tableau at the top seems to be a scene cut from Oklahoma!

This is a gorgeous advertisement for Dole's canned pineapple painted by Lloyd Sexton. Looking through a pineapple-ring portal, we see an idyllic day in Hawaii spread out before us.

Here is a different sort of ring in this V-8 ad, which really emphasizes its eight superior ingredients. Okay, while there's very little fruit, there is still produce involved. Some may be baffled by the claim that the flavor of V-8 is 'universally liked,' though.

Another beautifully designed ad. This one is for Libby's fruit cocktail. One thing all these advertisements from the 1940s have in common is they show the unadulterated fruits (or vegetables) that went into creating the finished products. The V-8 and Libby's ads display the different ingredients before they've been integrated, while the first two ads show the fruits before processing and canning.

A hipper, more excitable advertisement for Libby's fruit cocktail from the 1960s. Not as sophisticated (or coherent) as the previous ad.

Here's a look at Libby's main competitor, Dole. This ad looks more like an infomercial for one of those Japanese knives that can slice through anything!

OOMPH! Libby's spirited take on orange juice from concentrate.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Twenty Years of Hoover

After the first Hoover vacuum cleaner, the Model O, was invented in 1907, it rose to become the preeminent brand in the burgeoning electric vacuum industry. The Hoover Company, and its chief product, changed a lot in the twenty years (1945-1965) between these two ads.

Life, June 1945 - 'Room just decorated?' 'No, Hoover just serviced.'

Family Circle, December 1965 - 'Hoover' just doesn't mean vacuum anymore! Sadly, household appliance advertising doesn't look so mod these days.

You can find seven more Hoover print ads spanning 1934-1952 here. And check out The Vintage Hoover Emporium.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Hormel Invites You To Dine

Hormel Invites You To Dine is a great little booklet from Hormel, the company most known for its perennially popular Spam luncheon meat. This isn't actually a typical cookbook with recipes, but instead it has meal planning ideas and a general survey of the Hormel product line. Because this book is so priceless, and useful, I've posted it here in its entirety. Unfortunately, the booklet is undated, but I'm assuming it's from the 1940s.

1. Front and back covers - From our family to yours! Scenes of the Geo. A. Hormel & Co. family in action beside a happy family gathered around the dining table.

2. A touching dedication to those women who never get a day off.

3. Soup's On! - This page seems to be advertising the many varieties of canned soup Hormel used to sell. It's a shame you can't find their Tomato Bretonne anymore!

4. Spam en Croute? No, this is Hormel's Flavor-Sealed Ham! The rest of the page highlights other entrée possibilities.

5. Special Treats for Special Occasions - Treats like Corned Beef Hash and Little Pork Sausages!

6. Cold or Hot, Spam Hits The Spot! - And here comes the Spam! Spam's awe-inspiring versatility is on display with dishes as varied as Spam Jardiniere and Spam S'prise. Click on this picture for a larger image packed with loads of mouthwatering Spam recipes!

7. Here, in full color, is the much-celebrated Spam & Eggs! Also, discover the joys of Creamed Spam Carolina and Rolled Spamcakes. You have over two weeks worth of meal ideas just on this page!

8. Various Spamwiches, including Spam's take on the Monte Cristo. Why, the Hot Spamwich (pictured) was even created by a 'well-known food authority'!

9. The life-saving 'What To Serve... When To Serve It...' chart. Feel free to print this out and hang it on your refrigerator for easy reference!

10. Hormel Highlights timeline and the Hormel Family of Flavor Sealed Foods family photo.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Dairylea cover

Every once in a while, I misjudge a book by its cover. The outside might have a promising image or design element that leads me to believe that I've found a new treasure. Unfortunately, when I open up these misleading books, there aren't any pictures, or they are drab, uninspired photos. Even though the insides may not live up to their potential, the cover art is still attractive and worthy of admiration. Here's the first book that disappointed me in this way. It's a Dairylea cookbook called Year 'Round Recipes: Of Yesterday and Today, and features, not only the cherubic Miss Dairylea spokescharacter, but also ye olde baker juxtaposed with a homemaker posing beside her modern oven. Unfortunately, I have no idea of the date of publication.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Spry, The Flavor Saver

Things have sure changed. At one time, 'Spry' meant flaky biscuits, moist cakes, and other highly digestible foods were on their way to the table. These days, the word 'spry' has more to do with computers, xylitol, and retirement plans than any kind of triple-creamed goodness. Spry has long been vanquished by the leading vegetable shortening, Crisco. Crisco might be the better product, but it has never matched the enthusiasm and charm of Spry's rich collection of promotional material.

I first discovered the brilliance of the Spry cookbook series in James Lileks' masterpiece, The Gallery of Regrettable Food. In it, he reintroduces a new generation to the quaint Aunt Jenny and her Mayberryesque life. Sure, it's hard not to laugh a little at Aunt Jenny's earnestness, but, in the end, she leaves you with a feeling of comfort and assurance. Well, you can imagine my excitement when I recently acquired my very own Spry cookbook. I've scanned in some of the very best parts from this book, dating from 1942, for your viewing enjoyment.

Thank you to my sister for use of this fantastic cookbook!

1. Front cover - Meet Aunt Jenny and her adoring protégé.

2. Table of contents and introduction - Great read if you're interested in rationing and the U.S. home front during WWII. The far right column has a special message from Aunt Jenny. Note the just-folks language that is her trademark.

3. Jenny demonstrates the 2-crust pie. The end result is this Lemon Meringue.

4. Mrs. Mabel Bowen vouches for the Spry Pastry Mix.

5. 'Desserts are the crownin' touch of the meal -- and here are some pippins...'

6. A young Deanna Durbin look-alike reassures beginning bakers.

7. 'Now we can afford to have cake offener'!

8. All that can be said about these baked goods is that they probably were thrifty, reliable, and easy to make.

9. It's an EXTRA delicious cake extravaganza!

10. You can even use Spry to prepare savory dishes! As Aunt Jenny explains, 'These temptin' meals stick to your ribs, folks. An' what a cinch they are to make.' Lan' sakes, indeed!

11. Digestible fried foods, like these salmon croquettes, are easy to make.. the Spry way!

12. Just listen to this! - More fried foods that are guaranteed digestible!

13. How to Save Your Spry For Another Frying.

14. All the service men come together for Canteen Cookie Bars.

15. Back cover - Spry packaging, circa 1942.

Read a bit about Aunt Jenny over at Wikipedia. You can find out more about Jenny's other hobby, the radio show Aunt Jenny's Real Life Stories, at Old-Time Radio.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Purina's Shaggy dog

This is an amazing offer that was found in the same Family Circle magazine as the 'porfolio of kitchen ideas' in the last post. This advertisement is a promotion for a toy dog with a built-in imported music box. This lovable companion is called Shaggy, supposedly because he can be combed 'shaggy'. Unlike a real dog, all the instructions for caring for Shaggy are on his ribbon: 'All you add is Love.' Aww. Unfortunately, the ad doesn't address why it looks like the dog is wearing lipstick. Shaggy is shown here with the Olsen twins' mother.

Save 8 cents on your next purchase of Purina Dog Chow!

Offer void where prohibited.

1966 Kitchen Fashion Portfolio

Family Circle magazine has always been a welcome guide for homemakers (7,500,000, the cover boasts!), covering everything from cost saving cuisine families love to affordable fashions and home decoration. On that note, Family Circle ran this 'Kitchen Fashion Portfolio' in its February 1966 issue. Why, a lot of these solutions are still relevant today! You'll want to click on the pictures for more information on how these looks could be achieved in your own kitchen!

Nice countertops and really nice pans!

Add a wall area and some matching window treatments!

A great look for a 'junk snupper'!

Here's an advertisement from the same magazine that I thought would go well with this post. The product is Armstrong flooring. While the shiny floor does attract the eye, other things like the hanging pretzels, the garish 'barbecue' sign, and the odd bust that is placed much lower than all other room decorations might keep the eye for longer than intended.