For some reason, beans – baked, canned, whatever – are one of my favorite winter comfort foods. Earlier this week I posted a hundred-year-old recipe for Bean Chowder. And, when browsing though old magazines I was drawn to this hundred-year-old ad for canned Heinz Baked Beans. I wonder if the beans tasted the same back then as what they do now – or if Heinz has changed their recipe across the years.
Many of my December memories are linked to food: cut-out cookies, homemade fudge, fruitcake, and nuts in the shell. Yesterday I saw a display of nuts in the shell at the supermarket and bought a bag. When I got home I dug out my mid-century nut bowl. Each time I crack a nut, my thoughts go back to chatting with my mother while cracking, and then nibbling on, nuts in the farmhouse kitchen when I was a child.
This morning I browsed through a hundred-year-old issue of Ladies Home Journal and saw an ad for a Parsons Nut Bowl. Nuts in the shell have been a holiday tradition for a long time.
Family traditions have been important for a long time. A hundred years ago Royal Baking Powder advertised that the “fourth generation” was beginning to use it. It must be up to the 8th or 9th generation by now.
They sure knew how to package Jell-O a hundred years ago. The “Safety Bag” would keep it “as pure and sweet” as the day it was made for years.
I checked the “best used by” date on a package of Jell-O in my cupboard. The date was November 16, 2014. Time flies, and I don’t remember when I bought it, but I don’t think that it was real long ago. In any case, I discarded the package . . . sigh . . . I wish that modern Jell-O would keep for years like the old-time Jell-O in its Safety Bag.
Does anyone seal jelly jars with paraffin anymore? This old Parowax ad reminded me of how much I’ve changed the way I seal jam and jelly jars. I can clearly remember putting wax on the top of jelly jars when I was a young adult – but shifted to using canning lids and water-bath processing years ago.
Hundred-year-old advertisements that pique my interest generally make me smile. This one didn’t.
I found the ad upsetting., and it raised so many questions:
- When did companies first start selling commercial products that were advertised for use as a baby formula?
- What information, other than advertisements, was available to help parents decide how to feed their infants?
- What was the reaction of new mothers and mothers-to-be to this ad?
- What percentage of the women breastfed their babies a hundred-years-ago?
I have no answers, but I just can’t get this advertisement out of my mind – so I decided to post it.