1914 Karo Advertisement

18-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today: 

Tuesday, February 24, 1914:  Ditto

Source: National Food Magazine (February, 1914)
Source: National Food Magazine (February, 1914)

Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:

This is the second day in a row that Grandma didn’t write much. The previous day she wrote, “Nothing hardly worthwhile.”

The party that she plans to attend on Friday (and mentioned on the 22nd)—apparently didn’t merit a second mention when she wrote this entry.

What did Grandma do on quiet winter days?  Did she ever bake or make candies using Karo corn syrup?

We worry so much about the health effects of corn syrup today. Who would have guessed that corn syrup has been around for least a hundred years? . . . (though I  think that the recipe for Karo has changed over the years—and that back then it was just corn syrup, not high fructose corn syrup like it is now.)

Correction: After I published this post, I discovered that I’d made an error–and that Karo does not contain high fructose corn syrup. According to a FAQ sheet on the Karo website, Karo is made of regular corn syrup  (glucose only). See comments below for more details.

34 thoughts on “1914 Karo Advertisement

  1. I have some Karo in my cupboard. I just looked at the ingredient list. No mention of high fructose – just Corn Syrup and real vanilla. I have the lite version.

    I also went to their website and they do not use high fructose in any of their products. Nothing has changed, which is really amazing 🙂

    1. Thank you for checking on this. You are absolutely right–Karo does not contain high fructose corn syrup. After I read your comment, I found the Karo website and added a correction to the end of my post. Thank you!

    1. I may not use it with abandon, but you’re correct–it does not contain high fructose corn syrup. I made an incorrect assumption–and definitely should have done more research when writing this post. I added a correction at the end of the post. Thank you!

    1. I’m learning a lot as a result of doing this post. After reading Vanbraman’s comment, I found a really good FAQ sheet on the Karo website:


      This is how it describes the difference between regular corn syrup and high fructose corn syrup:

      “High fructose corn syrup starts with regular corn syrup (glucose only), which is modified by further processing and treated with enzymes to break it into two different forms of sweetness, fructose and glucose. In contrast, corn syrup is a sweetener derived from fresh corn picked and processed at its peak for flavor and sweetness. This is the ingredient in all Karo Corn Syrup products used for baking and sold in retail stores.”

    1. It would be interesting to know more about the corn queen. She looks Native American. I think that there was a lot of fascination with (as well as sometimes negative stereotyping of) Native American culture a hundred years ago.

  2. Day in and day out you produce a high quality blog. You make the work it takes seem like no effort at all. I may not always comment but your blog is one I look forward to each day.

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