Back to the future
The 1933 Chicago World’s Fair, dubbed
A Century of Progress, marked the city’s 96th year, its revitalization
after the Great Fire, and general breakthroughs of the era. Corporations
and organizations boasted their wares, scientific advancements,
and civic pride in colorful pamphlets distributed to fairgoers eager
to forget the Depression and focus on modern trends.
Kraft, for instance, noted in its recipe-laden
pamphlet that mayonnaise—”millionaire’s fare”
in the 1890s—was now delivered to grocers regularly, “mixed
by a new and exclusive Kraft method—the Kraft Miracle Whip.”
Heinz 57 highlighted its “Kitchens of Many Lands” exhibit,
contrasting “the convenient, modern American kitchen”
with “primitive” kitchens overseas. Other brochures
vaunted “A Century of Progress in Junket,” “The
New Air Cooled Electrolux: The Gas Refrigerator,” and Dr.
Scholl as an expert on “The Feet and Their Care.”
Part of the John Crerar collection, the
pamphlets—about 1,000 in all—were acquired by the University
in 1981. The Library’s Special Collections Research Center
is digitizing them (www.lib.uchicago.edu/century/).—A.M.B.
Courtesy Special Collections Research Center