Wednesday, January 4, 2012


Autumn wanted to learn how to make JELL-O last night, so we got out the measuring cup and our pyrex bowl and made some.

It got me thinking, when was JELLO invented?  I've always guessed around 1909, but after doing some research found out it was invented in the late 1800's!  By 1897 JELL-O could be found in Strawberry, Raspberry, Orange and Lemon flavors.  Here is a great website about the history of different food items, including Jell-o, Campbell's Soup and Coca Cola.

Beginning in 1902, to raise awareness, Woodward's Genesee Pure Food Company placed advertisements in the Ladies' Home Journal proclaiming Jell-O to be "America's Most Famous Dessert." Jell-O remained a minor success until 1904.  Starting in 1904, magazine ads featured the “Jell-O Girl”—Elizabeth King, age 4, daughter of an artist for the advertising agency. Starting that year, Jell-O recipe books with her likeness were distributed, at no cost, in large numbers.

This illustration from 1915 shows the JELL-O Girl making JELL-O with some Kewpie friends.

So, I perused my vintage magazines and found some neat old ads for JELL-O and for Royal Gelatin

This one is from the 1933 McCalls

This one also from 1933 McCalls for Royal Gelatin

And this one is from the 1942 McCalls

Only two pages over in the 1942 McCalls is an advertisement for Royal Gelatin. (A competitor to JELL-O I'm guessing?)
 Here's an interesting fact:  JELL-O used to come in Vegetable Flavors!  Seasoned Tomato, Celery, and Mixed Vegetables.  All so you could make things like this...

This is an ad from the 1960's.  This is the type of thing you'd see at a church potluck.  I can just imagine myself as a kid, walking through the potluck line, putting this on my plate thinking "this stuff  LOOKS green, fruity and refreshing"  But then, after one bite I would discover you can't judge a Jello salad by it's color.  I can just see my mother looking at me from across the table, eyebrow raised, telepathically warning me (the way only mothers can with their children) not to make any remark about it.  She did this knowing that  Mrs. Peterson, sitting next to me, had made it.  So, I would politely choke down as much of it as I could, much to my Mother's relief.   

Seasoned Tomato really?  Ummm, I'm thinking Yuck!   They discontinued this whole group.  Gee, I can't for the life of me imagine why?

According to Wikipeia, in 1964, the slogan "There's always room for Jell-O" was introduced, promoting the product as a "light dessert" that could easily be consumed even after a heavy meal.

Here is a vintage JELL-O Ad from You Tube.  This is a favorite of Autumn's.  It's from the early 1960's and a tad racist, (please don't be offended) but we think it's cute. (As always, remember to pause the playlist off to the right.)

So, we made our JELL-O, and midway through the setting up process she threw a few gummy bears in it.  She insisted on having some before bed, so we had runny JELL-O for a bedtime snack.  She said with a wrinkled up nose, "the gummy bears were a bit much."  Next time we'll use the vintage JELL-O molds (hold the vegetables, please).  Look out potlucks here we come!
Have a happy day!

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