1917 Mistletoe Oleomargarine Advertisement

Source: The Housewife’s Cook Book (1917) by Lilla Frich

Hundred-year-old cookbooks often included advertisements at the back of the book, which helped defray the costs of printing the book. Here’s a 1917 cookbook advertisement for oleomargarine. (Yes, they had margarine back than – though they called it by a longer name.). It appeared in The Housewife’s Cook Book (1917) by Lilla Frich.

The book was self-published by Ms. Frich. (Is Ms. the right title to use when writing about a woman who wrote more than 50 years before the term was term was commonly used?) She was the Supervisor of Domestic Science for the Minneapolis Public Schools.

Even though the book’s title refers to “housewife’s,” I think that the book was written for use in high school domestic science (home ec) classes. I guess the presumption was that students needed to be taught skills in school so that they were prepared for their future careers as homemakers.

Hundred-Year-Old Rapid Fireless Cooker Advertisement

Source: Ladies Home Journal (March, 1916)
Source: Ladies Home Journal (March, 1916)

When browsing through hundred-year-old cookbooks, I sometimes see fireless cooker recipes. Until I saw this 1916 advertisement for a Rapid Fireless Cooker I couldn’t quite figure out how they worked.

Fireless cookers were the crockpots of their day, and were quite popular in the early 1900’s. Food was first heated on the stove and then placed into a heavily insulated container to continue cooking.

 

1917 Puffed Wheat and Puffed Rice Advertisement

Source: Ladies Home Journal (February, 1917)

I have vague childhood memories of people telling me that Puffed Rice was good for me because it was made by shooting the rice grains from a cannon – though I was clueless as to why shooting the grain made it more nutritious. Well, now I know; it’s easier to digest. The cannon (or gun) promotion for Puffed Rice has been around for a long time. I found this ad in a hundred-year-old magazine.

Hundred-year-old Monsanto Saccharin Advertisement

Source: American Food Journal (February, 1916)
Source: American Food Journal (February, 1916)

Sometimes I’m in awe of (or perhaps a better wording is “shocked by”) some of the things I find in advertisements from a hundred years ago.  This 1916 advertisement for saccharin appeared in a trade magazine for food processors.

Saccharin was banned in 1911 by the Pure Food Referee Board in the U.S. Department of Agriculture. According to an article in National Food Magazine called “The Passing of Saccharin”:

It has a preservative power and is very cheap. But the Referee Board, which has been investigating Saccharin, has found it guilty of causing indigestion and otherwise injuring the system. Therefore, the government has issued a ruling entirely prohibiting its use after July 1.

National Food Magazine (June, 1911)

In 1912, the government reversed the decision and again allowed the use of saccharin, but it remained controversial – thus the advertisement in the trade magazine explaining why saccharin “won”.