June 09, 2005

Mary Lee Taylor

Many of the advertising cookbooks were authored by home economists and other spokespersons employed by or associated with the food companies. Some were fictional characters and some were real people. Ann Pillsbury, Betty Crocker, Janet McKenzie Hill, Martha Logan, Mary Lee Taylor, Frances Lee Barton, and Winifred Carter were but a few of these ladies who promoted the company's products and recipes to the consumer through cookbooks, magazine ads and radio shows.

Mary Lee Taylor was the pseudonym for Mrs. Erma Proetz, a spokeslady and home economist for the Pet Milk Company. She developed many of the early recipes using Pet products.

The Mary Lee Taylor Program was a radio recipe show hosted by Mrs. Proetz. The program, whose listening audience consisted of homemakers across the nation, aired from 1933 until 1954. The program featured a Dramatized Story of the Week, a Tested Recipe of the Week, meal planning, cookbook promotion and household hints. The first recipe was for pumpkin pie filling made with Pet Milk. There are several Pet Milk cookbooks from these two decades, which encompassed the Depression, World War II and part of the Baby Boom.

Many of the recipe booklets featured recipes that could be prepared for 2 or 4 or 6 servings, with separate ingredient amounts given for whatever quantity that was desired. The booklet shown below, Successful Recipes for 2 or 4 or 6, is not dated.

The second booklet shown, Better Meals In Less Time... For Less Money was published in 1942. This booklet addresses the new challenges to women who now had to run a home and hold a job because of the war. "Planning the menus for several days at one time and doing the shopping in advance is part of the secret of successfully playing the dual role of Homemaker and War Worker," advises Mary Lee. (If you've been frantically hunting for the recipe Victory Prune Salad, look no further--it's in this booklet.)

At that time, the latest Pet Milk Cookbook could be secured by mailing in a Pet Milk label with the word "cookbook" written across the back of the label.


Post a Comment

<< Home