1919 Diamond Crystal Salt Advertisement

Advertisement for Diamond Salt
Source: Good Housekeeping (November, 1919)

Advertising is supposed to convince people that they should buy a product. Sometimes an ad that apparently worked well a hundred years ago doesn’t work quite as well today.

If I wanted to promote salt, I won’t say “white as hoar-frost on pumpkins.” Is it just me, or do others not know what “hoar-frost” is? Of course, I could google the term – but by then I’ve lost all interest in buying the product.

And, would an ad today promote the “sanitary package”?

38 thoughts on “1919 Diamond Crystal Salt Advertisement

  1. Having just driven thru the Adirondacks yesterday and seeing lawns and flowers covered with hoarfrost, that line in the ad makes perfect sense to me! Very poetic for salt . . . except that reference to sanitary, which spoils the mood . . .

    1. It sounds like a beautiful drive. I just googled “hoarfrost” to get a better understanding of what it is – and realized that there are several different types of frost. I’m going to have to pay more attention to frost in the future.

    1. Yes, I think that you are right. Your comment makes me think of Upton Sinclair’s book, The Jungle. It was published in 1906, just thirteen years prior to the publication of this ad. It made canned meat sound awful. There probably were similar concerns regarding other commercially-processed foods and food ingredients.

    1. Today I think that we just assume that any commercially-processed foods or food ingredients are produced in clean environments, and then packaged in ways that will maintain the safety of the product. That obviously wasn’t always the case a hundred years ago.

  2. Those first lines, especially the one about the hoarfrost on the pumpkin, drew me in and made me want to continue reading, since hoarfrost is one of my favorite weather phenomena. As for ‘sanitary,’ it didn’t become associated with feminine hygiene products until about 1934, so the associations we have wouldn’t have been a problem for people in 1919.

    1. It’s nice to hear that you enjoyed this post. Your comment made me google the history of Kosher Diamond salt, and an interesting Forward article titled The Curious History of Kosher Salt popped up. It sounds like Diamond advertised kosher salt in Jewish publications as far back as the 1920’s, and more widely by the mid-20th century.

      1. We often get frost here, but I’m not sure whether it is hoarfrost. From now on, I’m going to pay more attention to frost, and learn how to distinguish between the various types.

    1. Since I’ve written this post, I’ve learned more about the various types of frost. I’m looking forward to seeing some hoar frost this Fall.

  3. I love that they had ads in 1919- I hadn’t really thought about it before. My great grandparents would’ve had a house full of little ones and my grandpa would’ve been a baby. Love the idea that my great grandmother could’ve seen ads .

    1. I know what you mean. It’s fun to think about how our ancestors would have seen these ads. I originally started this blog as a place to post my grandmother’s diary entries a hundred years after she wrote the entries. She was a teen when she kept the diary. After I posted the last diary entry, I converted the blog to its current food focus. During the diary years, I really enjoyed getting insight into the things my grandmother might have seen or done.

  4. I was familiar with hoar frost from reading the “Kristin Lavransdatter” trilogy years ago. That was also when I learned about rime. Seems that, like Eskimos, Scandinavians had many words for different kinds of snow and frost. It seemed like I was looking things up in the dictionary every few pages in those books.

    I did a double take when I saw the words “sanitary package,” too.

    What a poetic way of advertising!

    1. It’s interesting how there are many words for different kinds of snow and frost. I never heard of the Kristin Lavransdatter trilogy until I read your comment. I googled it, and noticed that the three books were published almost a hundred years ago (1920 -1922). I may have to read these books. I love to read old novels because they provide a fascinating window into how people thought about various issues at the point in time when they were written.

      1. Old novels have the same appeal to me. When I was reading the trilogy I couldn’t get over how the people would wake up in the middle of the night and know what time it was by listening to the sounds of nature outside. I think I was in my 30s when I read them and am thinking of reading them again, from an older woman’s perspective. Please let me know what you think of them when/if you do read them. I have a feeling you’ll love them.

        1. I love the example you gave of people waking up in the middle of the night, and knowing the time by listening to the sounds of nature. I never would have thought of it, but it makes perfect sense. I just requested Vol. 1 from the library. I’m a slow reader, so it may take me awhile to get to to it; but getting the book is the first step. πŸ™‚

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