1919 Tayler Oven Thermometer Advertisement

Source: American Cookery (February, 1919)

I was surprised to see an advertisement for a oven thermometer in the February, 1919 issue of American Cookery magazine. Cooks had a bit more information about oven temperatures than I’d previously realized.

Cooking with wood and coal stoves a century ago could be challenging. Hundred-year-old recipes never indicated the exact temperature that should be used when baking food in the oven. Instead the recipes said things like use a “high temperature” or a “medium temperature.” And, the cook was left to her (it was generally a woman in those days) own devices to figure out how to regulate the temperature. For example, more wood or coal might be thrown on the fire to get increase the temperature.

1919 Jell-o Advertisement

Source: American Cookery (January, 1919)

A 1919 Jello advertisement treats measles as a common ailment, and suggests that children who are sick with the measles might enjoy eating Jell-o while they recuperate. The first measles vaccines were introduced during the 1960s, and the Measles, Mumps, and Rubella (MRR) vaccine was introduced in 1973.

1918 Quaker Oats Advertisement

Source: Ladies Home Journal (May, 1918)

Food is expensive – both a hundred years ago and now. It’s interesting to see how a 1918 advertisement for Quaker Oats framed the cost of meals around calories. Back then, apparently getting more calories per amount spent was considered a good thing.  Today, are people willing to spend more to get fewer calories?

Barrington Hall Coffee Advertisement

Source: Tried and True Cook Book, compiled and published by The Willing Workers (Minneapolis Incarnation Parish, 1910)

Sometimes I come across hundred-year-old advertisements for brands that have long vanished from the scene. For example, I recently found an advertisement for Barrington Hall coffee. According to the ad, it is “baker-ized” and “steel cut.”

What the heck is steel-cut coffee? It sounds like it should be a type of oats and not coffee. And, baker-ized sounds like cakes or cookies rather than coffee.