Hundred-year-old Postum Advertisement

Source: Lycoming Valley Cook Book, Compiled by the Ladies of Trout Run M.E. Church (Trout Run, PA) – 1907

Remember Postum? It was a roasted grain powder that was mixed with hot water to make a beverage. It was often considered a healthy alternative to coffee or tea. This Postum advertisement was near the back of a 1907 Pennsylvania community cookbook.

44 thoughts on “Hundred-year-old Postum Advertisement

  1. I’ve heard about Postum all my life, but I’ve never seen it in a store, and I didn’t have a clue what it is. Thanks to reviews on Amazon, I now know it’s a combination of roasted wheat germ and molasses, which sounds wholly unappetizing, but that’s just me. I did see that even though it’s being manufactured again, everyone who tried it says it’s not nearly as good as the original, and it’s much more expensive. Anyway — anyone curious enough to give it a try can do so!

  2. Never heard of this but since she gained her weight back and went beyond that I’m thinking it’s not something I want to try! 😬 interesting article.

  3. There was nothing wrong with Postum. It was very tasty. For 2 years when I was finishing my library degree I lived with an aunt and uncle who did not drink coffee or tea (except herbal) and that is the hot beverage of choice they served. I liked it just fine. It is mainly chicory which is a good coffee substitute and is often used to replace coffee or stretch coffee. I think chicory coffee is even still common in the Southern states.

    The ROAD TO WELLVILLE pamphlet was written by C.W. Post of the Grape Nuts cereal fame. There was a book and a movie of the same name out in the 90’s about the health sanitarium in Battle Creek Michigan started by the Kellogg cereal founder. I have not seen the movie or read the book.

    1. It’s fascinating how various foods that Post developed as health foods became commercial successes – though I’m not sure why anyone would like grape nuts.

          1. I love Grape Nuts also. We always have a box. I used them once in an emergency to replace nuts in a muffin recipe and it worked. They weren’t as solid as the nut would have been but they still added texture.

            1. I’m really going to have to buy a box of Grape Nuts. I’m intrigued the the idea of using them as a nut substitute in recipes.

  4. I haven’t seen it in the store for years, so I googled it and the article said the company discontinued making it in 2007. Also that it may make a comeback as another company has decided to make it again. This was in a Seventh Day Adventist newsletter.

    1. I guess that I’m nostalgic. It’s good to hear that they are trying to make a comeback with Postum. Even though I didn’t care for Postum when I was young, I’d be tempted to try it again if I saw it in a store.

      1. Yes, I think I would buy it too. I don’t like instant coffee at all. Only brewed. So to me Postum was better than instant when I was somewhere where could not have real coffee.

  5. I can recall my parents buying it once or twice for some reason, although I can’t recall what it taste like. I know that I’ve had it, and I don’t remember it being gross, but then that’s a long time ago.

    My father drank Sanka most mornings (decaf) and my mother tea, so what motivated the Postum is a mystery. I guess, I suppose, no more than how I ended up drinking several cups of regular coffee every morning somehow.

  6. It increased in use during World War II when coffee was rationed. I drank it for a brief time in my young adulthood because one of my friends did. It is likely just a matter of taste and what one gets used to–it was not unpleasant, but I do not use sugar in my coffee or tea, so it was too sweet for me.

    1. I learned something new. I always heard about sugar (and gasoline) rationing during WWII, but until I read your comment, I hadn’t realized that coffee was also rationed during that war.

          1. My ladies group took a trip to a museum in another town than was on WWI and the Home Front. Was a very good exhibit…lots of letters and music you could listen to on headphones as you were going through the exhibit. One, it showed how so much was conveyed in a letter and how good people used to be with pen and paper. Two, it showed all the rationing posters and the reasons for rationing. Many ideas on home substitutes for foods that were wanted for the troops. Three, it showed other ways to help as in knitting head covers (balaclava?) type things, socks, etc. All in kind of a muddy brown color yarn. Four, you could walk through a trench re-creation…not very big…even included (fake) rats. Five, apparently lice were a terrible problem. Ugh.

            1. The exhibit sounds wonderful (though the fake rats probably would have grossed me out). It’s interesting to learn about the various ways they engaged those on the home front in supporting the troops.

    1. That’s similar to my memories of Postum. There were some people who really like it – though I tend to think that it was a acquired taste.

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