LeRoy Pennysaver & News - page 11

Jell-O InThe 1950s
A few days ago, I received an
email from thenewJell-Ocontact
in Chicago, asking whether we
wouldbeable tosupplymaterials
fora1950sexhibitabout Jell-Oat
theWalmartMuseum. I had a lot
ofquestionsand it seemed to take
forever to get answers so today I
Googled theWalmartMuseum in
Bentonville, Arkansas, and gave
them a call.
Iwasput incontactwithPeggy
Hamiltonwho isputting together
the exhibit inWalton’s 5 and 10
cent store, located next to the
Walmart Museum, and adjacent
to the ice cream shop. As Peggy
explained, there might not be
anythingmore iconic to the1950s
thanJell-O. So I toldher I’dsend
her a little bit about the 1950s
and Jell-O.
As we talked, she was very
interested in theadvertisingabout
Jell-Oand icecreamsoIpromised
to send along the ad showing
cubed Jell-Oon icecream. I told
her that the“JoysofJell-O”cook-
book didn’t appear until 1961,
but she thinks shewill go into the
early60s. Sohere is the synopsis
ofwhat I sent her:
Jell-O in the 50s
Included cartoons by some
of America’s most famous car-
toon illustrators: Hank Ketcham
known for Dennis the Menace;
Berenstains of the Berenstain
Bears; SydHoff; andothers.
“National Jell-OWeek” was a
take off on the fad of declaring
a national week for a myriad of
things: National Jell-O Fruit to
Boot Week; National TrimYour
TorsoWeek; National Jell-O and
IceCreamWeek; andacampaign
to sprinkledried Jell-Ooncereal,
pudding and ice cream and but-
tered toast. National Bellow for
The 1950s also saw the popu-
lar rewritten nursery rhymes of
LittleMissMuffet; theCow that
JumpedOver theMoon;Ruband
DubDub andOldKingCole.
that Jell-O issued these without
the advertising text so folks
could hang them on the walls
for their kids. There are about 24
animal ads including the zebra
which has Jell-O colored stripes;
there is a gnu, giraffe, squirrel,
flamingo, bear, turtle, bee, wild
cat, lion, rabbit, and leopard.
These are very colorful andhave
a littlepoem.Theseads ran in the
Saturday Evening Post and Life
magazine. Part of the promotion
included a small Sebastian fig-
urine which was sent out to the
Jell-O distributors reminding
themof theadvertisingcampaign.
The 1950s also included very
colorful advertisements inmaga-
years, Jell-Odidnotoffera recipe
booklet, rather the recipes were
included in themagazineads.One
of themost colorfulwas “Crown
Jewel Dessert” which became
known as “Broken Glass” and
Slogans in the 1950s included
“Now’s the time for Jell-O”; “A
Jell-O Saladmakes themeal”;
“Just for the funof it – Jell-O to-
night”; “It’sNational . . . . Jell-O
Week.”Someof thespokespeople
for Jell-O included
Lucille Ball, Johnny
Carson, and Roy
There were four
new flavors intro-
duced in the 1950s:
Introduces apple,
black cherry, grape,
andblack raspberry.
I told Peggy that
Walmart is very im-
portant to us here at
the Jell-OMuseum,
ever sincewe started
selling Jell-O two
years ago.Wewant-
ed tohavemanydif-
ferent flavors avail-
ableand Iwent from
store tostore looking
for the best price, since Tops
Market priceswere thehighest. I
ended up atWalmart which sells
Jell-O for 74 cents. In fact I was
atWalmart inBataviaonSaturday
melonand islandpineapple.Tobe
fair,Wegmans isonlyacoupleof
cents more, and I bought cherry
lemondade, peach, orange, rasp-
berry and grape at Wegmans in
Brockport a fewdays ago.
SoJell-Ohistoryand the1950s
will be featured in the Walmart
Museum later this year, and we
are happy tohelpout.
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