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Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Imperial Sugar Company Cookbooks

I was looking at videos on the Web site for the Texas Archive of the Moving Image, recently. Click here to access its main page. I watched the television ad for Imperial's My First Cookbook.  There's no hint of the date, but I think it may have run in 1963. (They ran multiple campaigns for MFC over the years.) Click the image below to view the 1-minute ad.

As you can see, Imperial's ad agency, TracyLocke of Dallas created the ad and managed the cookbook campaigns, which were a real winner for Imperial. (Richard Brown was Imperial's account exec.)

While reviewing the Heritage Foundation's photo archive, I found these which were taken in 1963. With some effort I could identify the women because I'm certain these photos appeared in The Imperial Crown. I included the second photo even though the quality isn't great because I liked their pose.  This photo was taken in the mail room in Imperial's General Office on the 2nd floor of the shopping center.

My First Cookbooks ready for mailing c. 1963.

My First Cookbooks ready for mailing c. 1963.

I have a lot of sympathy for those two women because I know exactly what they were doing.  I'm not certain of the exact dates, but my mother handled Imperial's cookbook requests from about 1958 to 1962. 

A few would dribble in during slack times, but when a campaign was running she'd be inundated with letters and postcards. During the peak period of a campaign, we could easily process the number of boxes you see in those photos in just one or two days. I don't know how long a campaign would run, but I'm guessing maybe three weeks to a month, and it would run in media all over Texas and neighboring states. Naturally, the flow of requests peaked a couple of weeks before the end, so it wasn't peak volume the whole time.  

Still, Mother got help, as you can see from these photos taken at our house on Oyster Creek Dr. in May of 1961. I can't identify the cookbooks in those photos, but I think it was the 'modern version' of Aunt Cora's Cookbook.

My brother Bruce & I in the den, sacking cookbooks (i.e. putting them in the addressed envelopes).  We didn't have to seal the envelopes; just fold the flap so they wouldn't fall out.

Me with our dog Herman.

My grandmother, my great aunt, my father, and my mother at the kitchen table addressing envelopes for the cookbooks.

Those were good times.