Tuesday, April 27, 2010
Do These Look Familiar ?
One hundred years has gone by but there remains products that are as popular today as they were for our ancestors. It's fun to look at what some of these products looked like years ago. Chances are that if you mentioned them to your great grandfather he would know what you were talking about.
The first is Canada Dry ginger ale- the champagne of ginger ales! Pharmacist and chemist John J. McLaughlin (yes it was his family that sold their car business to General Motors) opened a small plant in Toronto, Ontario in 1890 to manufacture soda water, which he sold to drugstores as a mixer for fruit juices and flavoured extracts. In 1923 the company was sold and a corporation, Canada Dry Ginger Ale, Inc. was formed.
In 1845, industrialist Peter Cooper obtained a patent for powered gelatin. Fourty years later a New York based couple Pearle & Ann Wait added flavouring to the powder and in 1897 Jell-O was born.
Wilkinson Sword in 1804 were makers of bayonets. Better blade making techniques led to the making of swords, and that led in 1890 to the making of straight razors. In 1894 the first safety razor is introduced. The rest as they say is history.
Gum chewing apparently has been around since the ancient Greeks. When North America was been settled people found that the natives were chewing a resin found in spruce trees. In the nineteenth century paraffin wax was substituted for pine resin. General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna, of all people, introduced Thomas Adams, Sr. to chicle which is derived from the Sapota or Saodilla trees. The first patent for chewing gum was awarded in 1869. In 1893 Juicy Fruit and Wrigley’s Spearmint gums were introduced. Dentyne and Chiclets were introduced in 1899. As early as 1888 vending machines for chewing gum appeared at subway stations in Manhattan.
Some things as they say never changes.
An excellent source for looking at popular products of the past is The Digital Deli.