Food Illustration

1951 – Lunchtime Love

A can, a kiss, and a smile - Franco-American spaghetti

Illustration of mid-century couple - Franco-American Spaghetti - August 1951 McCalls Magazine
Illustration of mid-century couple – Franco-American Spaghetti – August 1951 McCalls Magazine

Ya can’t get more mid-century classic than this ad featuring an illustration of a smiling couple. The pretty wife is greeting her hard-working man with a warmed can of Franco-American spaghetti. Oh yum.

When that hard-workin’ husband of yours comes home at mealtime–and you want to give him a good, hearty dish that’ll temp him to eat hearty–serve Franco-American Spaghetti!

It is likely lunch time and the husband is on his lunch break. Coming home for lunch was another tradition common in the mid-century. The tradition worked well for folks who lived in a city where work and home were in close proximity. I remember my dad coming home for lunch when I was a kid growing up in the 1960’s. Our home was a bit of a drive from his work, but it did give him the opportunity to have a hot meal and take a rest before returning to work. Of course, this works best when there is someone home to make you lunch.

Franco-American Spaghetti Ad - 1951
Franco-American Spaghetti Ad – 1951

The Franco-American brand was purchased by Campbells soup in 1915. It was originally started by Frenchman Alphonse Biardot in 1886 after migrating to the US in 1880. In modern times, Campbells kept the Franco-American brand and sold it under the name SpaghettiOs. SpaghettiOs was retired in 2004.


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