As regular readers of this blog know, I enjoy looking through old magazines to see what folks were interested in during any given month and year. This is especially helpful in constructing fictional characters because those old periodicals provide subjects that they might have discussed at the kitchen table or in their favorite tavern. The advertisements can also tell the reader what the popular products were, all of which leads me to Snider’s Catsup.
In reading through the February 17, 1947 issue of Life magazine, I discovered a full-page ad for Snider’s Catsup, a brand that I never knew existed. An internet search revealed a television commercial from 1956, meaning that it was still around when I was about to enter the world, yet, as a brand, it seems to have just disappeared. The photo caption of one of its shipping crates, posted by the National Museum of American History, states that the company began as the T. A. Snider Preserve Company of Cincinnati, Ohio in 1879 and was one of the largest catsup makers by the turn of the 20th century. A Pinterest page indicates that Snider’s was also manufactured in Marion, Indiana.
An on-line article on the television show Mad Men lists Snider’s as a brand that existed at the time the show opens, adding that it was bought and sold by the Bird’s Eye division of General Foods, which apparently had already happened by 1947 when the Life magazine ad appeared, because “General Foods” appears in very small print in the ad itself.
Further searching on the Internet reveals all kinds of ads and bottles for sale on e-Bay, but no real information on the company or what happened to it.
Therefore, I’m calling on all readers to become detectives! First, does anyone remember Snider’s Catsup? Second, I know I have at least one reader each in Cincinnati and in Indiana: Do you all have any local information on Snider’s? I’d like some company as I dive down this catsup rabbit hole!