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Food History at the Rubenstein Library: John W. Hartman Center

Marketing and Advertising in Food

Ranging from cookbooks to print and TV advertisements, the Hartman Center's food-related sources are expansive. The J. Walter Thompson Company (JWT) Archives is one of the Hartman Center's largest sources for food-related collections; housing thousands of food and beverage advertisements as well as the market research studies conducted by JWT to inform those marketing campaigns. Hartman Center collections also include other advertising agencies like D'Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles (DMB&B) Archives. These vast collections touch upon major themes in American and global cultures of consumption.

The Emergence of Advertising in America & Ad*Access - Print Advertisment Databases

The Hartman Center provides access to digitized print advertisements, some of them food related, through our online databases the Emergence of Advertising in America: 1850-1920 and Ad*Access: 1911-1955. Researchers can sort advertisements by company and product name. Represented companies include Coca-Cola and featured products include Bromo-Seltzer, Carnation Milk, Peter's Chocolate, Cream of Wheat, and Old Nick Whiskey.

adViews - TV Commerical Database

The Hartman Center provides access to TV commercials, many of which are food related, through our online database adViews. Researchers can access relevant commercials under the subject heading: Food and Beverage. The adViews database, for example, features commercials created for Best Foods from the D'Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles Archives, 1929-1995 and undated, bulk 1950s-1980s. These commercials, which advertise Hellmann's Mayonaise, H-O Quick Oats Oatmeal, and Nucoa Margerine, were digitized from the 16mm preservation film prints and can be viewed here.


 

Other TV commercials feature food and beverage products like Tang, Pop Rocks Candy, Peanut Puffs, Honeycomb, Ghosties Cereal, and Cool Whip.

Jell-O: America's Most Famous Dessert, c. 1910

Part of the Nicole Di Bona Peterson Collection of Advertising Cookbooks, 1850s-2000s. A digitized copy of this cookbook is available through the Emergence of Advertising in America: 1850-1920 database.

Road 2.0 - Outdoor Advertising Database

Over 30,000 digitized outdoor advertisements, largely billboards, made available through the Hartman Center's Road 2.0 database. Images are drawn from 5 different source collections. Featured advertisements include ones for Coca-Cola, Pepsi-Cola, Del Monte, and Jim Beam.

Food, Nutrition, and the Law

Food in Everyday Life