woensdag 9 april 2014

A 1980 anthology of Junk Food America's Favorites PARR/BADGER III Kay Lee Photography

The cover of the book, published in 1980. Its foreword begins: "America's Favorites is a time capsule for the 25th century. It presents in formal array 75 of the most popular enduring foods, confections, and beverages of America in our time. Each one is as familiar and beloved as the Statue of Liberty, Whistler's Mother, a Norman Rockwell cover, or a Grandma Moses landscape." Other examples not included here: Goobers, Wheaties, Tony's Pizza, Cheez Doodles, Campbell's Pork & Beans, Spam.

America's Favorites Hardcover


Andy Beach had quite a few strange, obscure books from his personal collection for sale at the Apartamentopop-up store in Milan last April. But America’s Favorites kept us captivated for hours: A 1980 anthology of junk food that treated each item like some kind of museum specimen, listing its package dimensions, date of origin, ingredients, and backstory — from macaroni and cheese to Cheez Doodles. The best part was that there seemed to be not a trace of irony behind the presentation, a fact I confirmed by painstakingly tracking down and then interviewing its authors, Kay and Marshall Lee. They simply wanted to present food as art, and the 75 choices in the book happened to be Americans’ most beloved. Both graphic designers as well as writers, the couple were a fixture on the art-book publishing scene at the time, Marshall having served as vice president of Harry Abrams for a spell and having taught bookmaking at NYU for 15 years. Kay worked at Harry Abrams as well, and did most of the research forAmerica’s Favorites, which was published by G.P. Putnam’s Sons (now known as Penguin). She and I spoke at length about the project, and an excerpt from our conversation is below. The slideshow that follows features 13 of the foods from the book, with selected information from the texts accompanying each.
What was the thinking behind the book?
We were just fascinated with food. What do you eat? What are your favorite things? It’s not only how it tastes but how it looks, and how it fits into the context of your life. So much of it goes back to childhood. It’s ingrained in you — you’ve got it in that little unconscious part of you that’s still 5 years old. That child is there saying you really want to have Milk Duds. You want to have truffles too, but the kid still says I want candy.
You and your husband wrote about art and bookmaking before you createdAmerica’s Favorites. How did the project come about?
We decided we wanted to make an art book about food, to show each item in a way that was really attractive and beautiful. Because the people who make these foods — even then — went to a great deal of trouble to make them look appealing, so we wanted to present that aspect of it. We did some research on ingredients, which were sometimes shocking but not as shocking as they are now. There were some foods which I won’t name but which I personally thought were abominable — I wouldn’t feed them to a dog. But Americans weren’t as savvy then about what we consumed.
What was your own relationship with food at the time?
I think Marshall and I were a little more educated about it, because we paid attention to what we ate and what was in something. We probably consumed potato chips or popcorn, but we had a wider and more selective taste by that time. My mother was always big on good health and good food. She trained us to look at labels, and if there were things you couldn’t pronounce, you probably didn’t want to buy it. Of course that doesn’t usually help — we’re captured.
What was your research process like?
You can get a lot from the package, and we delved into the various histories of food. We also got information and occasionally beautiful photos from the manufacturers themselves — the ones that were cooperative. Others were so nervous and highly suspicious that they’d get three lawyers on the phone with you. “You cannot use this food,” they’d say. Why not? We weren’t making it look bad, it was just a book about people’s favorites. So from what I recall, we had a couple of generics. One was the gelatin, because we couldn’t use the name Jell-o. We were a very reputable publisher, certainly on the up and up, and we offered every possible bit of information about the book to them, so I don’t know what their reasoning was.

What did you learn during the process that surprised you most?

How old some of the foods were, and how popular they were. Chocolate goes very far back, to the Aztecs, when it was a bitter dark chocolate drink with no sugar in it. The Swiss were the ones that created milk chocolate. Pasta is also ancient. Go to practically any country, and they’ll have some kind of pasta. They may call it something else, and they may not have grains, but they all have pasta. Even the Chinese have rice noodles. You eat what you have, and what makes it the best? Generally it’s whatever your mom made.
How did you ultimately decide which “favorites” to include?
We went into the grocery store, and looked for the shelves that were the emptiest. And we asked our friends. What did my husband grow up with? What did he like as a child? Hot dogs, Jell-o, bread. Anyone who we worked with, including the photographers, they all had input because they all had their favorites.
What was your creative concept for the book? How did you transform junk food into art?
The food manufacturers, if they sent you anything, presented it in the most beautiful advantageous way they possibly could — they would photograph food in crystal goblets. You eat with the eyes first, so it has to look beautiful and appetizing. You look at the photos and think, does that make me want to eat it? Make me want to buy it? It has to be clean and sparkling and lustrous and look so good you want to take it off the page and have a bite.

What was the critical response to the book at the time it came out?

Very positive. No one had seen it done quite like this, and our publisher was such a smart man, he got it immediately. The book was serious in some ways, but also just a lot of fun; here’s a little art book about all the stuff you like, not some fancy French things you know nothing about. This is something you know.
How do you think contemporary readers might view America’s Favorites now?
They’d see it as history, as nostalgia, and of course they’d have their own favorite thing to put in. Where’s my favorite? Why didn’t they include Ring Dings? It would be really fun to redo this with modern foods, but the next one, we’ll wait until we can do it in 3-D.

See also 

Photographs hanging in restaurants, cafes and eateries Bad Food Gone Worse René Nuijens Photography

Originator: Otto Schnering. Date of origin: 1920. Slogans: "When You Gotta Have One, You Gotta Have One." Notes: Originally called Kandy Kake, the nut roll was renamed Baby Ruth in the mid-twenties. Contrary to popular belief, it was not Babe Ruth but Grover Cleveland's first daughter, known as "baby Ruth," who was the inspiration. Baby Ruths were publicized by a 26-plane aerial circus, a Scottish Kiltie Band, a racing speedboat, and a six-pony team. In 1924, thousands of the bars, suspended from tiny parachutes, were dropped from airplanes over Pittsburgh. Baby Ruths were carried by MacMillan to the North Pole in 1927; by Admiral Byrd to the South Pole two years later.

Originator: Unknown. Date of origin: Circa 1949. Slogan: "Young America's Favorite" Notes: The size of the biggest bubble ever blown isn't certain, since bubble-blowing contests abound. (There's even a set of rules available from Bazooka.) One documented big bubble was 18 1/4" in diameter, blown in 1975. Children are the primary users of bubble gum, but 25% of the $68-million market belongs to adults, including some congressmen and movie stars.

Originator: Hector Boiardi. Date of origin: 1929. Slogan: "A Delicious Hot Meal With Meat" Notes: Signore Boiardi, only 9 when he began as a kitchen apprentice in Italy, worked his way up to be a chef at many famous restaurants in Rome, Paris, and New York. Later, at his own in Cleveland, Ohio, his special recipe for spaghetti and sauce was immediately successful, and he began to sell it for home consumption. His picture still appears on the label of every can.

Originator: Maurice and Richard McDonald. Modified by Ray A. Kroc. Date of origin: 1948.Notes: The original McDonald hamburger patties were made 10 to the pound of beef. The Quarter Pounder, shown here, was introduced in 1971. Experiments were conducted to find the right wax paper to use between the patties. It has to be slick enough so the meat will pop onto the grill and not stick, but not so slick as to make handling difficult. McDonald's hamburgers are found in 6,000 outlets in 25 countries. By 1980, over 30 billion had been sold.

Originator: Borden Foods. Date of origin: Unknown. Notes: Gail Borden patented a process of evaporating milk in 1856, opening the first plant in 1858. On the American Cheese Food package is a picture of Elsie the Cow, who first appeared in cartoon form in 1936. By 1938 she started to get her own fan mail, and in 1939 the first of 15 live Elsies toured the U.S. Elsie appeared at world's fairs, hotels, department stores, parties, and charity drives — later with a husband, Elmer, and a daughter, Beulah, and a son, Beauregard.

Originator: Elmer Doolin. Date of origin: 1932. Slogans: "Truly Krisp and Tender"; "Buy Two and Hide One For You"; "I'll Munch to That"Notes: Young Texan Elmer Doolin purchased the recipe (based on the traditional tortilla), the equipment, and 19 local accounts from a Mexican for $100. He and his mother made the chips in her kitchen. He then put the bagged chips into display racks he had built and persuaded merchants to use them in place of old-fashioned glass jars.

Originator: Colonel Harland Sanders. Date of origin: 1956. Slogans: "North America's Hospitality Dish"; "It's Nice to Feel Good About a Meal" Notes:At age 66, Colonel Sanders began to franchise his method of frying chicken. A personal appearance on a TV talk show made him a national symbol. He was still making commercials at age 88. It's said that if all the Kentucky Fried Chickens consumed in the world were laid end to end, they would stretch 93,000 miles, circling the earth four times.

Originators: Probably the Etruscans. Date of origin: In some form, believed to be prior to the 3rd century B.C. Notes: It was thought that Marco Polo brought Chinese "spaghetti" to Italy, but macaroni-making tools are seen in the frescoes of Etruscan tombs. The Etruscans are now believed to have migrated to Italy from Lydia (in Asia Minor) about the 12th century B.C.

Originator: Unknown. Date of origin: Campfire marshmallows first sold circa 1900. Slogans: "The Original Food Marshmallow" Notes: The marshmallow confection was originally made from the root of the marsh mallow, a plant native to Europe and a member of the mallow family of herbs and shrubs, many of which grow in marshy areas. Some other family members are cotton, rose of Sharon, okra, and hollyhock.

Originator: D&C Flour Co. Date of origin: Regular, 1918; instant, 1945. Notes: Early cookery grouped dumplings and puddings together, probably because both were cooked by steaming. Very early use of the word referred to sausages, as in black pudding or white pudding. Puddings range from Yorkshire pudding, to Sussex, to sweet, heavy puddings like Christmas plum pudding, to the lighter dessert puddings of milk, eggs, thickeners, and flavorings that Americans think of as puddings.

Originators: W. Charles and Gilbert C. Swanson. Date of origin: Mid-1940s.Notes: Swanson frozen dinners were created to help the servantless American housewife after World War II. New dishes were tested in the kitchens of C. A. Swanson & Sons and then submitted for approval to a panel of hotel chefs and 1,200 housewives. The first "TV Dinner" was turkey, the same dish used by the Pilgrims for their first Thanksgiving dinner more than 300 years earlier.

Originator: Dr. Thomas Bremwell Welch. Date of origin: 1923. Notes: Dr. Welch produced his first grape juice, Dr. Welch's Unfermented Wine, for local churches. It was renamed Welch's Grape Juice and introduced nationwide at the 1893 Chicago World's Fair. The Concord Grape Jelly was created in 1923.

Originator: Elmer Cline. Date of origin: July 13, 1921. Slogans:"Wonder Bread Builds Bodies 12 Ways"; "To Get Wonder Any Fresher You'd Have to Bake It Yourself" Notes: In large houses centuries ago, a butler gave bread to the diners according to their rank — the freshest for the master, down to the stale loves for the lowest ranking. Wonder's package was inspired by the thousands of balloons released into the air at the Indianapolis Speedway.

zaterdag 5 april 2014

Kampf in Holland Winterhilfswerk-Heftchen (Winter Relief Fund Booklets) Propaganda PARR/BADGER III Heinrich Hoffmann Photography

(Winter Relief Fund Booklets)

Bild Dokumente Heinrich Hoffman, Munich, 1937-41
Der Fuehrer Macht Geschichte (The Fuehrer Makes History),
26 books x 36 pp; each book 49 mm x 37 mm (1,5# x 1,25#)
Paperbacks, aproximately 17 b&w photographs per book.

Minature Nazi propa ganda booklets given during Winter hilfswerk (winter helps work-WHW) to those who donated to the Nazi charities that supported the poor. Hitler claimed sole credit for this idea, but it was actually started by the government of Bruning in 1931. They have a string attached to them for hanging on a button or for decoration of a Christmas tree. It was an important status symbol to indicate the person had donated to the poor and the Nazi Party. These booklets were passed out from 1933-1945. Photo of Hitler on front. Rare.; (Nazi Winterhilfswerk propaganda booklets); Photographs; 1'' x 1/2 

See also 

In 't verleden ligt het heden : Neêrlands grootheid in beeld Nazi propaganda Erik Kessels / Paul Kooiker Terribly awesome photobooks

Das Gesicht der Niederlande Nazi Propaganda ...

German Winter Help/Winterhilfswerk Offers Dozens of Collectible Categories

by Matthew Roth (12/21/12).

This is an example of a Winter Help/Winterhilfswerk door plaque (Tuerplaketten in German) from December 1934.
A German Winter Help/Winterhilfswerk “We’ve Helped” donation favor/tinnie/pin from 1933-34.
Most of the German people suffered heavily after the Frist World War, especially in the large cities, due to the sacrifices made for the war effort, reparation payments, high unemployment, costs of rebuilding Germany and the hyper-inflation of the early 1920s. These conditions were fertile grounds upon which the NSDAP (National Socialist German Workers Party) would find support, grow and rise to power.

When the NSDAP came to power in 1933, those in charge realized the great propaganda potential that some kind of welfare program would provide and set into action immediately. This would serve both the social cause and their own political aims. To these ends they created the Winter Help/Winterhilfswerk (WHW).

The first WHW drive was set into action in October of 1933 and ran through 1943. A new WHW drive was started each year, and any person in Germany was eligible for assistance; however, special consideration was given to the unemployed and families with an income below what we today would call the “poverty line.”

First War Winter Help (KWHW) March 1939 donation gutschein (rewards certificate). This voucher overprinted extending the redemption period to Jan. 31, 1940, series I, Kenn letter A, 5 RM value.
The used (redeemed) information with recipient, store name and WHW stempel on reverse.
The WHW always dispensed goods, never money. One of the slogans of the WHW was “Fight Hunger and Cold!” The WHW drives were implemented through various means, including voluntary donations, voluntary reductions in wages (normally 10 percent), subscriptions, lotteries, volunteer work, door-to-door raising of funds, special events and the sale of various types of badges, door labels, certificates, booklets, toys, trinkets and other donation favors.

From 1933 to 1943, it is estimated that more than 8,000 different badges and favors were created for the WHW. Contributions were also received from Germans living abroad, and well-known politicians and artists also endorsed and contributed to the cause. In addition, special postcards were issued to support the WHW organization. The first 1933 WHW drive gave the WHW organization 358.1 million German Reichmarks. By the 1937 drive, this had grown to 419 million German Reichmarks.

Heinrich Hoffmann propaganda postcard #579 with Hitler Youth members in full uniform, collecting for the WHW and a soldier amputee. The back of the card is titled “The greater sacrifice.”
Document dated Oct. 20, 1938 on WHW stationery sent to potential donors in Bayerischen Ostmark (Northern Bavaria bordering on the Sudten region of Czechoslovakia, which had just weeks earlier been ceded to Germany as part of the Munich Agreement) about helping Sudeten Germans, referred to in the text as liberated brothers.
Photo postcard of German Shepherd dog saddled with a WHW donation can and a police man soliciting donations.
With so many types of items, most collectors focus on one or several of the categories. There is also a large overlap for topical items. Collectors of flowers, military vehicles, dogs, locations (towns and areas) and more will find these areas well represented within Winter Help items. Each of the Gaus (German districts) had its own organization and favor production, which contributes to the huge number and variety of favors and also the variations exhibited within seemingly similar favors.

During the Third Reich there were stamps issued for an emergency relief fund, the Deutsche Nothilfe, for the years 1933-35 before it was incorporated into the WHW in 1936. Stamps for the winter help were issued in 1936 through 1940 and a special issue in 1943 commemorating the 10th year of the Winter Help.

Stamps were also issued in some of the occupied areas, like Bohemia and Moravia, a former section of Czechoslovakia, and Generalgouvernement (occupied Poland).

WHW memory stationery. The text translates to “Every letter, every card carries WHW stamps.” Used with WHW stamps for the correct postal rate.
Generalgouvernement, occupied Poland 1940 WHW stamp set with corner margins containing the German national emblem tabs.
Stamp collectors are of course drawn to these official issues, but also special cancelations and usages. Additionally, there is a large interest in collateral items like memory sheets, postal stationery and labels/vignettes associated with the WHW and fund raising activities. Condition is the most important factor when pricing stamps, with stamps that are hinged on the gum commanding typically 20 percent of the price of a stamp that has never been hinged (has full undisturbed original gum). Used stamps are a category in unto themselves and price independently. In recent years there seems to be significantly less interest in used stamps than unused.

Within the area of door plaques (Tuerplaketten in German), there are 42 different labels, one for each month October to March 1933 to 1939/40 with well over 200 catalogued variations including paper types, printing variations of color, sizes and formats (square, round and rectangular). Prices for these items can be as little as a few dollars each to around $50. As is typical with all collectibles, this is greatly influenced by condition, scarcity and demand.

There were many postcards and postal stationery issued both publically (by the government) and privately by stamp clubs and organizations which assisted with fund raising and commemorated events like club meetings, stamp shows, stamp day and others. Prices will vary from as little as a few dollars for the lottery cards to more than $100 for some of the scarcer propaganda cards. As usual, this is greatly influenced by condition, scarcity and demand.

KWHW (Kriegs Winterhilfswerk/War Winter Help) Tag der Wehrmacht (Day of the Wehrmacht) 1941 donation favors. Complete set of 12 military related items from the German Wehrmacht.
In addition to favors, certificates of donation were also awarded to companies or wealthier donors who contributed more significant amounts. They range mostly from 20 to 100 Reichsmarks, but I have seen one for 500 RM. Depending on type and rarity, these can price in the $40 to $200 range.

Winter Help gutschein are certificates provided to people in need from the organization and came in 50 Rpf, 1 Reichsmark, 5RM and 10RM values. Some special certificates were denominated in weights for commodities like coal. The certificates were redeemable for clothing, food products, rent, gas and electricity (utilities) and more. These are collectible by their years, values and serial numbers.Prices range for $10 to $50 for the more common ones to more than $100 for special and uncommon certificates.

Matthew Roth is the owner of MAR Historical and been collecting and selling German Third Reich historical collectibles for more than 30 years. He has also authored several books on German WWII postcards that, along with books by other authors on German Third Rich Stamps and Militaria, have been brought to print by his company MAR Publishing. He lives and works in Broomfield. Colo.

maandag 31 maart 2014

One of the most beautiful books of the G(erman) D(emocratic) R(eplubic) Kannibalen PARR/BADGER III Heynowski & Scheumann Photography

Heynowski & Scheumann: Kannibalen (PARR/BADGER III)

*Kannibalen* was produced by two prominent East German documentary film makers about a West German mercenary called *Kongo* Mueller. It is probably one of the greatest (if not the greatest) anti-imperialistic propaganda books and is very much aimed at West Germany. It was *rediscovered* as a photobook by Thomas Wiegand in an article in Fotokritik: (http://www.fotokritik.de/artikel_88_1.html) Google does a pretty good job of translating it. *Kannibalen* is also one of the star attractions in the forthcoming third volume of the Parr and Badger History of the Photobook which has made it even scarcer and more expensive recently. One of the interesting bits about the book is that most of the photographs are NOT by Mueller but by Gerd Heidemann, who was a Stern Reporter. He is best known as the main engine behind the faked Hitler diaries which adds a surreal aspect to the whole show. It is sometimes referred to as a *protest* book which is slightly problematic This book was published in the DDR and all East German *protest* books were really devised, designed, and manufactured by the state to show their good citizens what a good place the East was compared to the West. Listed in Parr/Badger volume 3

"The world should know it!" - Heynowski & Scheumann : Cannibals (1967) 

The book should be supplied with an instruction leaflet for the faint hearted. Cannibalism is a taboo, and the open display of violence is no less problematic. Photos of violent crimes and their victims are known from war and civil war or the Holocaust. The Scho-ckierende thing is that you first of all, it automatically goes off, that these images contain a kernel of truth. "The photographic image is by its very nature always concrete; moreover, it is always fraught emotional experience so promising as the abstract thought" (H & S 1966 zit.n. retrospective H & S 1976, p.49). The trium-phierende photographs of victims is a traditional action-wise, similar to the production of shrunken heads of slain enemies or of lampshades made of human skin.But the authors of the book did more to celebrate than a moral victory.

The book "cannibals" in 1967 received an award as one of the "most beautiful" books of the GDR. It is not really nice, rather scary. The reading promises to be a very special experience, even if the ironically downplaying subtitle reads: "A night-ländisches poetry album in autobiographies". It is directed it against the (of course) Western imperialism on the example of confusion surrounding the independence (1960) by the former Belgian Congo. In this civil war-like clashes, including West German mercenaries were in use, what 1964, the star and other West German newspapers had reported (Steinmetz / Prase 2002, p.72). The media treatment of the performance of the mercenaries in the Congo led to a grotesque German-German episode in the Cold War. 

See also 

An East German Photobook Adventure: Tractors, Photofits and Textiles