A Sandwich By Any Other Name

The little treasures I picked up at Smith Building Mercantile in Alta Vista, VA the other day just keep blowing my mind.   I got an array of old magazine-style cookbooks, the type of publication that entices you as you stand in line at the supermarket.  At the time I thought I’d probably do a combined post on all of them but as I have looked them over I realized there is no way that is going to work.  There is way too much material in these little gems.  They pack a lot of punch into a small package.

imageI mean, take a look at the Good Housekeeping Sandwich Manual, advertising “more than 400 different sandwich ideas” for our erstwhile baby-boomer post-war housewife.

imageIt boasts two full page ads, one for Sunbeam Bread, complete with Miss Sunshine peeking over a heavily buttered slice of white bread.
She eats it, I want some!


The other is basically an advertisement from the American Bakers Association.  They’re all about bread.

Look at that ad, lobbying the harried housewife and mother of 1950 to buy bread, “your best food buy.”  Whew.

There is science in this thing!  The science of Sandwiches.  Man-sized, deckers, meals, snacks, savory, sweet … fancy cuts and exquisite finishes … parties, picnics … O, wow!

I get tired of just thinking about the possibilities, all “more than 400” of them.  Chicken liver and scrambled egg sandwiches? Who woulda thunk it?


Look at this … a flow-chart on filling a lunchbox.  I had a lunchbox like that!  It really takes me back.  And they break it all down … it’s marvelous.  Ya gots yer meat, ya gots yer veg, ya gots yer fruit, oh, and of course don’t forget the bread and top it off with a drink!  It’s so easy.  And nutritious!

imageAnd who can think of a sandwich in 1950 without thinking of everyone’s favorite Bumstead … Dagwood.  There it is, a blueprint for the famous Dagwood sandwich, along with a bunch of other “famous” bread-time treats.  My cats can’t wait to knock down a Pyramid!

There are menus suggestions, bread guides, even recipes so you can bake your own fancy breads … you remember that, don’t you?  There goes my theory about the baker’s association trying to win us over to their bread over our bread … they’re buttering both sides of the fence here.


My gosh, they even have a sandwich for consipiracy theorists!

What the heck is that, the Illuminati?

In reality it was supposed to be a fanciful kids sandwich … they had things like a clown, a chicken, and here, I guess, is your basic Picasso.

Don’t get me wrong.  I love this little book.  It is in pretty good shape even thought it is a bit worn, I mean, it is 65 years old and even has some minor repairs with 50’s era cellophane tape.  See?  Somebody else loved it too.   Here’s what gets me.  I picked it up as an afterthought.  I was thinking, “sandwich manual, okay.”  It looked old enough but it is  thin, only 31 pages and I couldn’t find a date.  I waffled on it … and no, there are no waffle sandwiches in it.

imageAnyway, it wasn’t until after I brought it home that I fell in love with it.  It wasn’t until I was taking pictures for this blog that I noticed the 1950 on the Baker’s Association logo.  Wow.  What a great addition to my collection.  Where are my protective plastic covers …


One thought on “A Sandwich By Any Other Name

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