November 20, 2014

Adventures in vintage advertising: Heinz Ketchup

Like most of us, there are certain brands that I have always been especially fond of. Often they stir up a sense of nostalgia and bring many a childhood memory rushing to the surface. Case in point - and the subject of today's edition of Adventures in vintage advertising - Heinz Ketchup.

As a youngster, this was my very favourite store bought condiment to slather on anything from grilled cheese sandwiches to - much to my paternal grandma's horror – roast Christmas turkey. Though I still love pan fried sandwiches dipped gingerly into ketchup, I don't usually dunk the contents of my Christmas dinner into it any longer. Fun as that it may be, my have tastes evolved, as most people’s do as they age.

Still to this day, and in spite of the many different serious chronic illnesses (and food allergies) that I have to eat around/for, I can still enjoy a little bit of ketchup whenever I please, which is more than I can say for most store bought condiments and sauces.

Heinz ketch is iconic. Whether in the traditional glass bottle (you know the one - it either held onto its contents for dear life, despite thumping vigorously on the bottle, or quickly released half of its contents in one quick plop when turned upside) or the modern plastic squeeze bottles, it's safe to say that just about everyone, at least in the Western World, is familiar with this classic, zingy tomato based condiment.

{Looks like someone was predicting Costco sized bottles of Heinz ketchup before their was such thing as Warehouse grocery stores! I joke, of course, but this ad is an interesting bit of foreshadowing in regards to how big many packages, tins and bottles of food would quickly grow in the decades that followed it.}

Before we look at the lengthy and illustrious life of Heinz's classic offering however, it's worth briefly delving into the history of ketchup itself.

These days most people think of ketchup as being made primarily from tomatoes (and less commonly, mushrooms, bananas, walnuts, or beets, the latter being a great alternative for those who may not be able to eat, or don't like the taste of, tomatoes), but one very likely origin story says that this condiment - which is also known as catsup - started life centuries ago in China as a sauce made from pickled fish and various spices that was called kôe-chiap or kê-chiap.

A popular condiment, it's usage spread throughout Asia, including to Malaysia, where it found favour with the British explorers and colonists who were there at the time. The Indonesian-Malay word for this popular sauce was kecap, from which the anglicized ketchup would evolve.

Various types of ketchup have appeared in the years since those early pickled fish sauce versions, with mushroom ketchup being especially popular during the 1700s. One of (if not "the") first known written recipes for tomato ketchup appeared in 1801, later appearing in an American cookbook by Sandy Anderson called Sugar House Book. In fact, the bulk of early tomato ketchup recipes were American, with earlier forms of the sauce having come across the Atlantic with British colonists.

Though Heinz was not the first company or individual to sell prepared ketchup, they did get their foot in the door very early on,  launching their tasty offering in 1876. It has remained in production ever since and to this day Heinz holds the majority of the market share in most countries when it comes to commercially produced ketchup. The Heinz recipe would get some ongoing tweaking in its early days, becoming closer to the thick, subtly sweet form that we know today in the early years of the twentieth century.

By the mid-1930s, Heinz had even developed its own strains of tomatoes, engineered to grow varieties of tomatoes that were especially well suited to making ketchup. Three decades later, in 1968, Heinz would became the first company to start selling their ketchup in small, individual sized fast food style foil packets.

Another decade and a half later (and just a year before I was born), in 1983 Heinz brought the first plastic squeeze bottle for their product (earlier generic picnic style plastic squeeze bottles that one could decant store bought ketchup in glass jars into had been available since at least the 1950s) to the market and though some, especially restaurant owners, are still keen on glass jars, it didn't take long for plastic squeeze bottles to dominate in the arena of ketchup bottle popularity.

{A B&W photograph showing examples of some of the earliest styles of Heinz ketchup bottles.}

Right from the very beginning in 1876, Heinz packaged their ketchup in clear glass (later plastic) bottles to indicate the purity and quality of their product. This might not seem like a huge selling point today, but back during the Victorian era and early twentieth century, adulteration and inferior (sometimes even dangerous) quality premade foods were serious problem for consumers everywhere. By opting for a clear bottle, Heinz was stating matter-of-factly that they had nothing to hide and that they stood behind the quality of their products.

While Heinz is by no means the only ketchup manufacturer in the world (Hunts, another longstanding producer, is another popular brand, especially in America), they are definitely the most famous and beloved in many countries. Though I've known - and still know - some folks who say they prefer other brands (in some cases including in-house store brands like Safeway or Western Family), for me Heinz is, and has always been, my first choice when it comes to tomato ketchup and because I adore it so much, I wanted to shine the spotlight on it here today.

As Heinz was a very popular brand from the later decades of the 19th century onward, they were prolific marketers, advertising frequently in various publications, on billboards, through in store displays and elsewhere. This resulted in no shortage of ads, some more memorable than others of course, that we're still fortunate to have with us to this day. In the celebration of the scrumptious tradition of Heinz ketchup's place at the dinner (and breakfast, lunch and midnight snack) table, I've rounded up a selection of 18 different vintage Heinz ketchup ads from the 1900s to early 1960s that are sure to stir feelings of nostalgia and tap into your love of old school adverting alike.

{Phew, good to know! :D Jokes aside, the use of very dangerous chemicals and preservatives was a genuine problem in the early decades of manufactured food production and Heinz led the way on the ketchup front by doing away with it in the early 1900s. This informative ad dates from 1909.}

{Though it started out slightly different shaped, by the 1910s, Heinz's ketchup bottle had established such a classic shape that it could pass for a modern offering on today's grocery store shelves.}

{From very early on, Heinz adds have been vibrant and colourful, foreshadowing perhaps the fun, cheerful foods that ketchup would be/is so often partnered with.}

{Like many food brands, Heinz has long history of including recipes in its adds, such as this hearty 1920s dish of Carolina Meat Pie.}

{Whether this early 1930s Heinz ad was just trying to be cute, appeal to mothers, or really knew their audience, the brand's delicious red sauce has been a big hit with kids from the get-go.}

{If all it takes to achieve to achieve that goal is a bottle of ketchup, you may have the easiest marriage ever! :D}

{"Every woman's magic wand!" proclaimed this 1930s Heinz ketchup ad of its star player's ability to add pep and flavour to any dish a woman could cook up for her family.}

{The notion that a bottle of Heinz ketchup made for a happy, contented hubby was a common theme amongst the company's many ads throughout the 1930s.}

{As the 20th century rolled onward, Heinz's popularity continues to soar and spread even further afield, as this 1935 ad illustrates by pointing out that their ketchup has already become a firm favourite in 110 countries.}

{Heinz rang in the 1938 New Year by proclaiming Season's Best and the best seasonings to one all!}

{A year later in 1939, Heinz called on memories of the past, back when families had to make ketchup at home by hand, and a charming illustration to help sell their already best selling tomato condiment.}

{Heinz was by no means alone in the mid-twentieth century by attempting to appeal to female customers by assuring them of their husband's happiness if they purchased the product in question, but it was a particularly common theme for the brand who continued to do it into the 1940s, as with this cute Valentine's Day ad, and beyond.}

{Sliced white bread gets the royal treatment from Heinz in this 1940s ketchup ad featuring recipes for five delicious new ways to serve chopped mint (hint, hint, they all involve ketchup! :D).}

{That's quite the claim indeed (though, really, who's arguing - their ketchup is marvelous and certainly highly valued by countless customers), but it's one that Heinz had no qualms with making back in 1950. One can't help but wonder what company might be so bold as to say the same today?}

{Certainly part of the appeal of Heinz ketchup has long been the fact that it was a food that you could find almost anywhere you went, not just in your own kitchen, but when dinning on the go as well. I firmly believe this has been an important part of the brand's longevity and stronghold on their market.}

{Holy mid-century cooking, Batman!!! :D The award winning recipes in this 1957 ad for Heinz ketchup might not be for everyone (then or now), but they do certainly sing with the quirky culinary spirit of the era.}

{Though some ketchup fans may argue differently, this statement has always rung true for me. I love Heinz's taste and how, to my taste buds, it has the perfect balance of sweet and savoury.}

{Like countless brands in many fields during the 1950s and 60s, Heinz cashed in on the popularity of the day for the exciting space race (and airline travel) that was underway when they wrote the copy for this 1950s advert.}

{You and Heinz put 2.5 pounds of tomatoes on the table to enjoy at every meal boasted this vividly red ketchup dating to, or right around, the early 1960s. I wonder what the weight in today’s hefty 1.5 liter plastic bottles would be?}

{To learn more about a specific image, please click on it to be taken to its respective source.}

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Okay, at the risk of sounding terribly cliché, I really am in the mood for ketchup now! Here is Canada, one of the key foods that we use this robust tomato condiment on is Kraft Dinner macaroni and cheese, as well as mac and cheese in general, be it store bought or homemade. Like most countries we also use it on French fries, onion rings, hamburgers, hotdogs, and chicken nuggets/fingers, plus oodles of other dishes.

There's no shortage to the ways one can ultize ketchup, whether as a dipping sauce, condiment or ingredient in a dish itself (such as bbq ribs or pasta sauce). Here in my home and native land of Canada, we also have a long standing tradition of making a ketchup cake - which, much like tomato soup cakes, I promise you, you can't taste the ketchup in once it's baked.

Tomato ketchup is, and has long been, a fun, classic, readily available, generally inexpensive condiment. It's uses are endless and its sweet, subtle vinegar-y, pleasantly spiced tomato flavour has continued to appeal to generation after generation for many decades now (and in the case of Heinz's offering in particular, for 139 years), just as I suspect it always will.

So while I may no longer bat my little eyelashes and politely ask (re: beg) my grandma to have ketchup with my Thanksgiving dinner, I still adore and use it often. And on that note, I'm thinking that I'll whip up a turkey meatloaf tonight, with ketchup used as both an ingredient and topping (along with sharp cheddar cheese). Hey, one's tastes might evolve as they grow up, but that doesn't mean they have to change entirely! :D

November 18, 2014

My first photo shoot with the Pacific Ocean + thoughts on being recognized in public

Outfit details

White crochet snood: Handmade gift from a dear friend loving friend ♥
Hair flowers: Assorted sources
Gold bow earrings: Payless
1950s red plaid cropped shirt: eBay
Vintage red and gold anchor brooch: eBay (I think)
Red vintage style faux leather cross body bag: eBay
1940s style side button jeans: Freddies of Pinewood
Gold tone metal bangle bracelets: Payless
Red and black vintage plastic bangles: Assorted sources
Black 1940s style oxford shoes: Thrifted (from Salvation Army)
Lip colour: MAC Russian Red

Photography by Tony Cangiano

Fame is a funny thing. It can be fleeting, fickle, fantastic, funny, fabulous, and, for some, even infuriating. I don't have any firsthand (or even secondhand) experience with mainstream fame in in the slightest. As someone who is mind blowingly shy and uber introverted, I was definitely not the kind of child who longed for a career in that could project me in such a direction (say, like a singer or actress).

No, in my youngest days I wanted to be either a nurse or a doctor, then as my childhood progressed and straight on into my teens, I was 100% certain I wanted to be a chef (and I adamantly believe I would have gone on to be one had I not fallen severely chronically ill about a month after my 18th birthday).

It's theoretically possible that those career paths, particularly that of being a chef, could have led to fame, but it would not have been the driving reason behind why I wanted that job at all. My life, as you likely know, did not end up with me wearing a stethoscope nor (in a professional capacity) standing in front of a hot stove all day. It took many detours and was eerily silent some years, when I was too ill to bring home even so much as one piece of proverbial bacon.

I worked numerous jobs in my late teens, but from my 20s onward, I have been self-employed (a heading under which I include working, and drawing a wage from, being employed by the online media company that my husband and I run) for every job I've held, including during my mid-twenties when I was a part-time professional photographer (I job I loved with every fiber of my being, but unfortunately had to step back from because of the continued worsening of some of my medical conditions).

These days, on top of working for Netrich Media, I have the incredible pleasure and honour - which I do not take for granted for one tiny second - of being a professional vintage blogger and Etsy vintage shop owner. I get to spend my days writing about, photographing (thus indulging in that passion of mine in an awesome new way), wearing, discussing, shopping for, researching, and surrounding myself with vintage. It a job that I can do from home when my health permits and which I truly adore and feel grateful for.

Vintage has helped give me a career that is compatible with my circumstances and which I can hold my head up high when I tell people what I do for a living (believe me when I say that some folks, wrongly of course, judged me incredibly harshly during those periods in my life when I was chronically ill and didn't have a defined career at the time; it was as though they couldn't fathom someone in their 20s being so ill that they couldn't work, which for many stretches of time the last 12.5 years, I have been).

I mention all this to led to the point I begun this post with: fame. Over the years I have achieved a definite degree of notoriety amongst the vintage blogging world. I've being interviewed by numerous magazines, blogs and websites (and the BBC); have an active social media prescience, and blog prolifically, so it probably isn't a huge surprise that I'd stand to get recognized in public every now and then.

I think part of the reason why it always knocks my socks off when such happens is because I live in a small town in British Columbia, Canada. Penticton is beautiful and I love residing here, but it isn't exactly the sort of vintage Mecca that Portland, LA, New York, or London is and in fact, I haven't been recognized by a stranger on the street here yet. Each time it has happened, I've either been in a larger city in this province or in Alberta.

While on our stellar holiday to Vancouver Island earlier this fall, I was floored and very touched to be recognized by multiple people, both on the street and at the Victoria Vintage Expo that I attended (including, very sweetly, when I had three young ladies who were shopping together recognize, rush over to, and proceed to hang out with me for several minutes - it was the closest I think I've ever come to being on the receiving end of a fan girl experience :)).

One such encounter took place at a consignment store in the utterly charming seaside town of Sidney, which is the first place you'll see when you disembark the ferry upon reaching Vancouver Island (if you're headed to Victoria or any point in that general direction, I mean).

While sourcing a few pieces of jewelry for my Etsy shop, I was approached by a lovely lady who asked if I had a blog. I replied that I did and said who I was, and she very excitedly said that she thought it was me and had to come over and say hello. She too was in town on holiday (from Alberta) and we had a marvelous time chatting for a few minutes and latter ran into one another again on the same day when Tony and I made our way down to the wharf area in Sidney to do a shoot for the the photos that appear in today's post.

Never say never, of course, but objectively I doubt I'll ever be world famous in the context of mainstream society, and that's totally okay. Most of us will never walk that path, after all. But there is, I must tell you, something fabulously fun and rewarding about having a complete stranger know who you are and want to interact with you. I never take such experiences for granted and cherish every last one of them that happens to me - and all the more so because, again, I really don't live in a part of the world that is filled with fellow vintage lovers, wearers or bloggers.

Meeting that lady put a huge smile on my face, which was certainly a good thing when it came time to shoot photos. The fact that I finally, for the first time ever, got to a photo shoot for my blog with the majestic Pacific Ocean (others would also happen during our time on the Island, and I'll be posting about them in the near future as well), certainly helped to cement it there even further.

For a day of fun second hand shopping, sightseeing, and driving, I sported my trusty Freddies of Pinewood 1940s style side buttons jeans, a delightful 1950s cropped waist plaid shirt (if I could clone this shirt in a hundred other patterns and colours, I would in the quickest of heartbeats), a snood that I received as a gift from a dear friend last year, three hair flowers, an assortment of plastic and metal bangles, and an anchor shaped vintage brooch to tie into the nautical-ness of our location.

Though it wasn't gloriously golden, the sun was still out in full force that day, so – no surprise here - I was Squinty McSquinty again in some of these snaps, but I don't mind. I was just elated to capture the memory of that day on camera during one of the rare pauses in the rain while we were on Vancouver Island (it rained for some, or all of, nearly every day we were there).

This trip was absolutely fantastic from start to finish and I loved that it included so many fantastic experiences, very much including being recognized by several people throughout our time there. If any of you who did so should happen to be reading this post, thank you again for approaching me and saying hello. I loved getting to meet you and really appreciate your support of my blog, which, after all led you to know who I am in the first place. :)

November 16, 2014

Ten intersting things you don't know about me care of the Sunshine Blogger Award

Last spring, in the middle of April to be precise, as winter was just finally starting to pack its bags up once and for all (we had snow well into the month), my dear friend, German blogger, and fellow vintage loving lady, Beate, very thoughtfully bestowed the Sunshine blog award onto Chronically Vintage (she herself received it from Natalia over at In The Writer's Closet).

Unlike some of the blog awards I've very kindly been presented with over the years, if memory serves me right, this is the first time I've received the Sunshine Blogger Award. Thus, I've been eager since that mid-April day to post about it, as I do rather enjoy the fun set of random facts about oneself that this award, like many of its peers, gives the recipient a chance to share about themselves.

After five and a half years of avid blogging and numerous similar posts throughout that time (including receiving the Very Inspiring Blogger Award again this year, which I posted about in August), I won't lie, it can be tricky to come up with a brand new assortment of facts and tidbits of information that at least some of my readers don't already know about me.

Ultimately, I don't think that one needs to pull skeletons out of the deepest reaches of closet or reveal anything that don't feel completely comfortable doing in public for the sake of a blog post of this nature, nor do you have to write down only facts that are complete and total secrets. As such, I've tried to find a nice blend amongst the following ten entries of things you may have heard me mention in passing before and others that (best I can recall) should be fresh, never before shared snippets of info about yours truly.

 photo SunshineBloggerAwardpostheadergraphic_zps95135e3f.png

1. I don't drive. Despite a genuine desire to do so, between certain symptoms of some of my conditions (which can be very distracting), the side effects of various meds, almost always present brain fog, and around the clock severe chronic pain, I feel it is far safer for me not to be behind the wheel and I haven't had a license since I was nineteen years old (which then, was only a learner's permit).

If I walk into walls, fall down stairs, suddenly forget what I was doing, and am often so tired and/or in pain I literally cannot move while just on my own two feet, I truly feel its best that I'm not on the road potentially putting my own life, my passengers lives or those of other drivers or pedestrians at risk and instead have resigned myself to being a passenger. This is something that, believe it or not, I had a really hard time sharing publicly for most of my adult life and feel is the most private thing about myself that I'm revealing here today.

2. That said, if I could safely drive, I think I'd be out on the road every day and my dream car would a pink 1957 Chevy. They've had a major sweet spot in my heart ever since I was just five years old and I can distinctly remember seeing one zoom past for the first time.

3. I've lived in two countries (Canada and Ireland), three Canadian provinces, and around a dozen different cities, towns, and communities throughout my 30 years on this planet. I wouldn't say I love moving, but I have got it down to a pretty exact science at this point and can pack up a whole two or three floor house, or good sized apartment, in just a couple of weeks if I truly have to (ideally though, I do like to work at a more leisurely pace when moving abodes).

4. Ugh!!! Due, I believe, to a combination of certain medications I'm taking and the sheer act of getting older, for several months now, since about last New Year, actually, I've been noticing my face looking progressively wider. I haven't gained weight (like most of us, my weight fluctuates a touch over the course of a year, but has been within the same five or so pound range for a few years now) and yet I see my face looking less streamlined, so to speak than it was in my mid to late twenties. I can't do a thing about aging and absolutely must take these meds, so for now I just have to contend with my already anything-but-chiseled facial features looking even less so. *Sigh*

5. Though it sounds like something that might be fake, it is indeed bracingly real, and I happen to have telephonophobia, which is generally defined as a reluctance or fear of placing and/or receiving phone calls. Though it's not a story I'm comfortable sharing publically, I know precisely what events triggered this in me as a youngster (coupled with my fear of confrontation and also my immense shyness), and while I can talk on the phone if I truly have (and should note, I don't usually have an issue doing so with my very nearest and dearest friends and family members), I loathe it and feel anxious even just hearing a telephone ring. As such, the advent of the internet (and also text messaging) as a means of communication was all the more welcome by yours truly.

6. I am a very genuine and appreciative person. Sometimes throughout my life, when I've been expressing my heartfelt thanks, I know that people have thought I was being insincere because of how much I was gushing or using an abundance of flowery, complimentary adjectives, but nothing could be further from the truth. I take note of every kindness, thoughtful act, compliment, and sweet thing that comes my way and am incredibly grateful for each of them.

7. While there are scads of desserts and sugary snacks that I enjoy the taste of, I have always had a much bigger "salty tooth" than a sweet one. With some of my favourite savoury treats - that I can currently safely eat - being cheezies/cheese puffs (especially Cheetos, which, yes, are as processed and jam packed with chemical ingredients as the day is long and as such I only eat once in a blue moon), kettle chips, pepperoni, salted almonds, olives, crackers with cream cheese, and GF nuts and bolts (which, if I may say so myself, I make a fabulous version of).

8. My vintage glove collection, which longtime readers may recall from this post two years ago about how I store my beloved gloves, now totals over one hundred pairs. Because I have so many, I wouldn't say I buy them as frequently any more, but I still add a few to the ranks every year and am always on the prowl for styles and colours, as well as really unique varieties, that I don't already own.

9. Located in Abbotsford, British Columbia, my first elementary school was in a residential area but was hugged on one side by a patch of wooded area that just happened to be inhabited by a number of bears. As such, my school had a special bear alarm, which, if sounded, meant that all students instantly had to gather on a paved area at the front of the school, where we would be guided back inside by several staff members. It didn't go off to frequently, but there was always a distinct adrenaline rush when it did and to this day, I associate the sound of school bells with the idea that a bear might suddenly appear!

10. The older I get, the more I find myself loving and wanting to wear early 60s fashions, in no small part because many of them have a powerfully ingrained sense of sophistication which suits a woman very well as she ages. Interestingly, my sweet husband predicted that I might gravitate towards such styles several years ago. Way to go, honey! I doubt I'll be filling my closet with early 60s pieces anytime soon, but I do foresee buying a new one every now and then and styling them in a very early Mad Men-esque way.

{To learn more about a specific image, please click on it to be taken to its respective source.}

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Like most blog awards, this one follows a fairly set pattern of what is entailed if you'd like to take part.

-Use a the graphics above, or one/those of your choosing, to denote that you've received the award.

-Link back to the blog of the person who nominated you.

-Share ten (or eleven, I've seen posts with each) random interesting facts about yourself.

-Nominate ten of your fellow bloggers "who positively and creatively inspire others in the blogosphere" (and optionally let them know that you've tapped them for this award).

To that end, I'd love to present this award to the following group of talented, stylish, inspiring, and always lovely ladies, each of whose blog posts are a welcome ray of sunshine in my feedreader every week.

1. Amber from Original Vintage Queen

2. Beverly from Tea Cottage Pretties

3. Corilynn from Poodles and Pincurls

4. Emma from Little Miss Bamboo

5. Joanna from Dividing Vintage Moments

8. Liz from The Vintage Inn

9. Paige Virginia from Paigey the Vintage Dame

If you opt to play along with this 100% just for fun blog award (no worries if you don't, I know that such things are not a firm favourite with everyone by any means), please don't hesitate to leave a comment on this post with a link back to yours so that I be sure to enjoy reading your engaging random facts and perhaps discovering new blogs amongst those that you yourself pass the Sunshine Award on to.
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Thank you very much, dear Beate, for thinking of me and my blog and sending this delightful award our way. Its warmth and upbeat spirit are exactly what I need as we brace ourselves to head into the chilliest season of the year again!