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Coal Region Culture

Vintage Thanksgiving Ads Show Us How Things Change, Stay the Same


Thousands of Schuylkill County residents are getting ready to sit down with family and friends at the Thanksgiving Day table.

Many of us will no doubt be offered — and gladly take seconds of — green bean casserole.

The classic Thanksgiving side has been a holiday tradition since it was invented by Campbell’s soup company back in 1955.

But that’s just one classic Thanksgiving dish. We wanted to see if any more classic Thanksgiving sides are on your family’s table this year. Let’s have a look and go in the wayback machine to check out these great vintage Thanksgiving ads:

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Vintage Thanksgiving Ads

These vintage Thanksgiving ads may bring back a flood of memories. Show these to a Boomer at your family’s dinner and they’ll start with the stories …

The Turkey

Let’s start with the star of the show, the bird. Surely, you have turkey on Thanksgiving, right? We’re not ready for the turkey vs. ham debate until Easter.

vintage thanksgiving ads butterball

Butterball Swift Premium turkey

Birds Eye sold turkeys? And seriously, look at this bird below and tell us what they’re feeding turkeys today:

vintage thanksgiving ads birds eye

Maybe the turkey’s vegan?

Where did you get your turkey this year? Save up points at the grocery store? Get one for free from work? Did you go to the Ack-a-me?

vintage thanksgiving acme

Who misses the Acme stores in Schuylkill County?

Prevent dry turkey. Use tin foil. But not just any tin foil.

vintage thanksgiving ads reynolds wrap

Don’t mess around with that dollar store tin foil when dealing with a commodity like the Thanksgiving turkey.

OK, so you screwed up the turkey. It’s dry or still raw in the middle. What are you going to do?

vintage thanksgiving ads banquet foods

Frozen meals were just better back then.

The Sides

You have to wonder where the idea for green bean casserole came from. But one look at some of the food recipes of the mid-century era, you’ll see it was a time of food exploration. That’s got to be the explanation for some of these:

vintage thanksgiving ads yam yums

No words for what’s going on here. Yams and marshmallows are pretty traditional but this looks … odd.

There’s nothing odd about pumpkin pie, though. Of course, that’s true when your pumpkin pie doesn’t have ink stains on it like it does in this McCormick ad.

Put your relish trays away. Get creative. Try your hand at creating what they’re calling a turkey here.

They’re calling this a Cranberry Surprise. Your guests sure will be surprised when you put mayo on top of your cranberry molds sitting in lettuce cups.

The Drinks

It’s hard to have a family Thanksgiving dinner without some booze.

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How about a Bud?

vintage thanksgiving ads budweiser


Maybe you’re a PBR person. Let’s get you one ASAP.

vintage thanksgiving ads pabst blue ribbon

And if the beer’s not enough, reach for the hard stuff.

vintage thanksgiving ads schenley whiskey

The Smokes?

After all that food, we need a cigarette. But alas, what smoke goes best with Thanksgiving? Without a turkey-and-gravy vape flavor on the market, we’ve gotta choose:

vintage thanksgiving ads winston cigarettes


Or maybe (our favorite of these ads) …

vintage thanksgiving ads chesterfield cigarettes

A satisfying Chesterfield square will do.

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Mike Ouchis

    November 30, 2019 at 11:02 pm

    Let’s not forget<

    Nothing Satisfies Like the "Air Softened" Taste of Chesterfield Kings

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