Some things haven’t changed across the years. Both a hundred years ago and now, when people want to make a quick, easy, inexpensive dish, they sometimes reach for a can of Van Camp’s Baked Beans.
When I saw this hundred-year-old advertisement for Mapleine, my first thought was – Is this product still made? I thought that I had a vague memory of seeing Mapleine in the spice and extract section at the supermarket, but wasn’t sure.
Well, the answer is yes. It is still made. Mapleine has been around since 1908. According to Wikipedia, Mapleine was even part of a court case:
An early enforcement action of the United States Pure Food and Drug Act in 1909 concerned a shipment of Mapleine confiscated in Chicago. The case was “United States of America v. Three Hundred Cases of Crescent Mapleine” in which it was found that the product was misleadingly labeled to represent actual maple extract. The case was cited as a precedent for the United States Supreme Court 1916 decision in United States v. Forty Barrels and Twenty Kegs of Coca-Cola.
By 1920, the Crescent Company, which made Mapleine, clearly knew that advertising needed to make it clear that Mapleine did not actually contain maple syrup. The advertisement says it is a “pure vegetable flavoring” – though I’m not exactly sure what that means.
On a recent hot summer day, I lazily flipped through the pages of 1920 issues of Good Housekeeping. There were the usual advertisements for baking powder, canned fruit, bacon, and other foods. And, then I flipped another page – and saw this1920 Swift & Company advertisement defending the large size of this corporation. Discussions about the size of businesses have been taking place for a long time!
It can be expensive to feed a family – both a hundred years ago and now. This 1920 advertisement suggests one way to save money.
When browsing through hundred-year-old magazines I occasionally come across advertisements that make little sense. Today was one of those days. This advertisement for Hormel’s Dairy Brand Bacon left me with more questions than answers.
- Why is a pork product called “Dairy Brand”?
- What is the food the woman in the ad is holding, and does it contain bacon?
- Did this advertisement increase sales? . . . or did it totally flop?
Chickens generally lay more eggs at some times of the year than others. Historically there was a plethora of eggs during the Spring, and they could be purchased very inexpensively – and eggs were much scarcer and more costly during the winter months.
As a result, people often preserved eggs using the water glass method. They mixed water and water glass (hydrated lime) together in large stoneware crocks or jars. Eggs were then placed in the liquid to preserve them.
According to a 1920 advertisement by the Stoneware Manufacturers Association (who would have guessed that there was a Stoneware Manufacturers Association) which represented the manufacturers of the crocks:
Eggs properly preserved in stoneware jars will keep fresh as the day they were laid for 8 to 12 months.
When I googled water glass eggs, I discovered that some people still use this method to preserve eggs. For example, Homesteading Family and Timber Creek Farmer each have posts about how to use the water glass method.
Food is expensive today. A hundred years ago people also worried about the high price of food. A 1920 Quaker Oats advertisement compared the costs of different foods, and (of course) determined that Quaker Oats was an inexpensive source of calories. Somehow I don’t think that the relationship between calories and cost would be featured in an advertisement today . . . but on second thought, maybe it still works. Not sure.