Friday, September 14, 2012

A Hannibal Lecter Smile

Creepy Armour salesman guy would positively love to sell you some of his sausages, just don't ask what they're made of... really.  With that Hannibal Lecter smile would you buy processed meats off of this guy?  Apparently this was a 1917 version of an award winning smile but nowadays it's a "You're going to the funny farm smile".  From the look of the ad Armour used to be into salting, curing or canning anything they could get their hands on.  Not surprising really, it's 1917 and refrigeration was just getting off of the ground.  Everyone still used iceboxes and foods had to be preserved in a non-refrigeration manner.  Of course this also involved the copious use of salt in preservation which meant the average person consumed roughly 5x the present day RDA of sodium.  Oddly enough though, for sodium being the great bugaboo of heart attacks that the FDA says it is, I rather think people back then had them less often than is currently the case.

Philip Danforth Armour went out west 1867 at the age of 19 hoping to hit it big in the gold rush.  He did enjoy success in California but he also realized a business opportunity, selling preserved meats to the miners.  He returned to the Midwest and formed the Armour Meat Packing company and the rest, as they say, is history.  Armour is still around today, and they make good quality deli meats along with canned meat products.  They are one of the few companies that, to the best of my knowledge, are still around as an independent force and not under the umbrella of some mega-corporation.  I had to make an update to this article since I found out that Armour is not longer an independent company having been passed through a number of hands in positioning stages over the past decade and finally ending up in the hands of Smithfield Foods where it remains today.1

So when buying your next pound of Armour bologna, try not to think about this guy, he may have had many satisfied customers in his store, but then again so did Sweeny Todd.

1) Armour and Company - Wikipedia


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