The importance of being….well fed on Thanksgiving

Blue Ribbon Butter Ad from the Perth Amboy Evening News, November 28, 1922

Your furniture is ready and polished, the place settings are immaculately laid out, your stemware is clear as a diamond, and your finest china rests on the best table linens. You take a step back and admire the masterpiece that is your dining room table. The only thing missing now is the food! After all, what would Thanksgiving be without the turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, sweet potatoes, fresh pumpkin and apple pie? While these dishes are timeless, the cost of food has changed considerably over the past century. While you’re waiting for the bird to come out of the oven, check out these Thanksgiving food ads we found during our research here at the NJDNP.

Perth Amboy City Market Ad from the Perth Amboy Evening News, November 24, 1913

Below we’ve compared the prices of popular Thanksgiving foods between the early 20th Century and Today. Keep in mind that the average weekly take home pay during 2nd decade of the 20th century was between $15.35 and $28.00.

Turkey:                   $0.28/lb in 1913            $1.36/lb in 2018
Sweet Potatoes:      $0.15/gallon in 1913     $3.39 for a 3 lb bag in 2018
Green Peas:            $0.11/can in 1913        $1.47 for a 1 lb bag in 2018
Fresh Cranberries:  $0.10/lb in 1913           $2.65/12 oz in 2018
Milk:                         $0.35/gallon in 1913     $2.92/gallon in 2018
Butter:                      $0.37/lb in 1913           $2.88/lb in 2018
Eggs:                        $0.24/dozen in 1913     $2.94/dozen in 2018
Cider:                       $0.22/gallon in 1913     $5.99/gallon in 2018

Post Toasties Thanksgiving Ad from the Perth Amboy Evening News, November 22, 1920

Madison Hotel Thanksgiving Ad from the Perth Amboy Evening News, November 29, 1922

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Turkey is undoubtedly the most well known food on the Thanksgiving table, but at the turn of the 20th Century there were a number of other protein options available. As you’ll see below, one store was giving away live pigs if an individual spent more than $15.00. Duck was another popular bird.

Borak’s Market Thanksgiving Ad from the Perth Amboy Evening News, November 28, 1922

The Boston Thanksgiving Ad from Jersey City News, November 26, 1889

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wine, beer, and spirits were also an integral part of the Thanksgiving feast. Load up on these ads below. Check out the marketing strategies used by to Elk Wine and Liquor House to entice customers. Did somebody say free?

Elk Wine Liquor House Ad from The Perth Amboy Evening News, November 24, 1905.

Elk Wine Liquor House Ad from The Perth Amboy Evening News, November 28, 1906.

M. Zucker Liquor store Ad from The Perth Amboy Evening News, November 24, 1914.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Have a happy Thanksgiving! Leave a comment below if you find any interesting Thanksgiving related ads and if you haven’t already, subscribe to our mailing list.

(Contributed by Giovanna Ligato-Pugliese and Jacob Paul)

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