June 02, 2005

Early Jell-O Recipe Booklets

JELL-O. America's most famous dessert. Add boiling water and set to cool. Can it get any simpler than that? Over a hundred years later and it's still just that easy.

Early Jell-O Slogans
1902 - America's best family dessert
1906 - The dainty dessert
1909 - The American dessert
1910 - The fairy dessert
1911 - America's most famous dessert

The first Jell-O recipe booklets and package inserts were published by the Genesee Pure Food Company.

An early Genesee advertisement proclaimed "No recipe book required for the new dessert" and pictured a woman holding a box of Jell-O in one hand and tossing a booklet away with the other. In spite of their declaration that a recipe book was unnecessary, Genesee did, however, go on to publish more than fifty recipe collections, literally millions of booklets, during the first quarter of the 20th century.

Many of the booklets were printed in the French, German, Spanish, Swedish and Yiddish languages, so that the new immigrants to the United States would not be left out of the massive campaign to bring Jell-O into every home. The booklets published in foreign languages would be nice to collect.

In 1923, The Genesee Pure Food Company changed its name to the Jell-O Company.

Search terms to use when searching for Jell-O recipe booklets on the Internet:

  • Genesee
  • Genesee + Pure + Food
  • Genesee Pure Food Company (in quotation marks)
  • Genessee (try a misspelled form of the word)
  • Jell-O
  • Jello
  • gelatin
  • gelatine


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