Keepapitchinin, the Mormon History blog » Ads You’re Not Going to See Again Anytime Soon — Chapter 4
 


Ads You’re Not Going to See Again Anytime Soon — Chapter 4

By: Ardis E. Parshall - August 13, 2008

Ah! The ingenuity … the design … the marketing possibilities …



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1914
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1914
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1929
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1930
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1930
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1934
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1934
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1950
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35 Comments »

  1. It’s interesting that three different quasi-official outfits were competing in the sacrament tray market – The Deseret Sunday School Union, Deseret Book, and the Bureau of Information.

    Those ads would indicate that some of my ancestors drank water each week from lead-lined glasses. That might explain a few things.

    Comment by Mark IV — August 13, 2008 @ 6:30 am

  2. I’m glad we don’t have to wash cups any more.

    Comment by Eric Nielson — August 13, 2008 @ 6:45 am

  3. “Help the missionary work along at the Bureau of Information” by buying particular sacrament sets. That’s a connection I’ve never made. How did I miss it all these years?

    Comment by Ray — August 13, 2008 @ 7:22 am

  4. Great stuff, Ardis, as usual.

    Besides the lead (what is the risk, anyway?), the other thing that caught my eye was the address on the last ad for the Plastical Company: 405 Centinela Avenue, Inglewood.

    My mother grew up in Los Angeles, just outside of Inglewood, and attended the Inglewood Ward. When we visited our grandparents, we would attend church (I don’t remember the name of the ward back in the early 1960s–it was no longer the Inglewood Ward) in a building that was close to Centinela Park. I looked it up, and it’s still there, just across the street from the northwest corner of Centinela Park, at 400 Centinela Avenue. (Google Maps and Street View will give you a good picture.)

    It makes one wonder if the enterprising owner of the Plastical Company came up with the design for the trays after a walk across the street and a chat with the bishop. (Or maybe the owner of the company was the bishop!)

    Comment by Mark B. — August 13, 2008 @ 7:31 am

  5. This is interesting!Some designs have not changed much.
    What was the bureau of information? Does it still exist under a different name?

    Comment by BruceC — August 13, 2008 @ 7:36 am

  6. The Bureau of Information evolved into the Temple Square Visitors’ Centers. I’ve been gathering photos to illustrate a post about the Bureau, to go up hopefully in the next week or so.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — August 13, 2008 @ 7:45 am

  7. I remember going into the Bureau of Information back in the early 1960s. It seemed that everyone there (at the least the people behind the counters) must have come to the Salt Lake Valley before the railroad.

    I look forward to your post on it.

    Comment by Mark B. — August 13, 2008 @ 8:35 am

  8. As to lead in food containers, our Canadian friends (can they be trusted?) have some information on the Health Canada website. (Click on the “How can lead contaminate food?” line, and scroll down to the item about leaded crystal.)

    It doesn’t appear that the risks are significant, although they would have been higher if red wine or grape juice were used instead of water.

    Comment by Mark B. — August 13, 2008 @ 8:42 am

  9. Splendid work, Ardis. I just love it.

    Comment by J. Stapley — August 13, 2008 @ 9:13 am

  10. I shared these with my wife, like I do with most of your funny findings, and we both had a good laugh. Thanks, Ardis.

    Comment by Ben — August 13, 2008 @ 9:18 am

  11. Those are great Ardis!

    What’s amazing is that those trays from the 30’s were still in use in several wards I’ve attended. How long were they made?

    Comment by Clark — August 13, 2008 @ 9:34 am

  12. They all have 36 cups (at least those that can be counted). That’s the same as the current trays.

    Where’s the numerologist to explain the significance of that number?

    Comment by Mark B. — August 13, 2008 @ 9:37 am

  13. Re the Schaub individual sacrament service, some time ago I came across an interesting FP letter from 1912:

    “Office of The First Presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Salt Lake City, Utah, March 21st, 1912. To the Presidents of Stakes,

    Dear Brethren:

    In order to encourage Bro. Jacob Schaub of Logan, designer and inventor of an individual metal sacrament service, which it is believed can be sold at the same price now being paid for glass sets, we suggest that you advise your Bishops to defer purchasing from outside manufacturers until Bro. Schaub can place his service on the market, which will be done as soon as he can install the manufacturing plant, a thing which he expects to do in the near future.

    We may add that in our opinion the metal sets designed and manufactured by Bro. Schaub are not only more durable, but more sanitary, also more easily cared for and handled when being used at sacramental services than the glass sets already introduced in some of our wards. JOSEPH F. SMITH, ANTHON H. LUND, CHARLES W. PENROSE, First Presidency.”

    Messages of the First Presidency 4:269.

    Comment by Justin — August 13, 2008 @ 9:54 am

  14. Clark, I don’t know how long they were made, or how long they continued to be used after manufacture stopped. Not sure how to research that, either — we take for granted all the everyday things to the point where we don’t document or preserve them very often, don’t we?

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — August 13, 2008 @ 10:00 am

  15. Justin, that’s phenomenal. And just after I get done saying that we don’t document these things, too … at least I said “very often.” Now I want to research and find out more about Jacob Schaub. Wonderful!

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — August 13, 2008 @ 10:05 am

  16. If I can only get a letter from the First Presidency encouraging members of the church to engage me as their lawyer . . .

    Comment by Mark B. — August 13, 2008 @ 10:32 am

  17. I’ll send the request to Joseph F. Smith right now …

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — August 13, 2008 @ 10:35 am

  18. I just started to wonder about the equipment for other faith traditions. It looks like their communion trays serve various numbers of people, but I haven’t seen a 36-serving tray yet after looking at a few sites.

    Churches can also buy pre-filled communion cups complete with wafer in one sanitary, sealed package. (They’re filled with grape juice. I never stopped to wonder about what they serve for communion; I imagine the churches have to adhere to liquor laws including not serving alcohol to minors?)

    I also saw a handy-dandy glass communion cup washer.

    Just google “communion supplies” to see some of these interesting items.

    Comment by Researcher — August 13, 2008 @ 11:05 am

  19. I haven’t been able to find any laws in New York that deal with that subject, Researcher, but there are general exceptions in the liquor laws for sacramental wines, and the endangering the welfare of a minor laws usually do not get any traction against a priest giving a child at communion.

    I did find a negative at an American Atheists website, where they were crabbing about a law called the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (not the federal version, but a state one) which was being adopted in several states back in the late 90s. Apparently, the proponents of the act were claiming that recent Supreme Court decisions could criminalize the giving of communion to a child, and said that the state RFRAs would prevent that.

    The atheists said that:

    The case of providing “sacramental wine” to minors as part of religious worship is often cited by defenders of RFRA, although so far AANEWS has been unable to find a single incident where federal, state or local governments have acted to prevent this and similar practices.

    But, hey, they’re atheists. Can they be trusted?

    Comment by Mark B. — August 13, 2008 @ 12:14 pm

  20. Cool post Ardis.

    Comment by danithew — August 13, 2008 @ 1:08 pm

  21. Ardis, another of your delightful posts! Anyone know how contemporary publications put out by the Catholic and Protestant counterparts were advertising similar wares?

    Comment by Bill MacKinnon — August 13, 2008 @ 2:11 pm

  22. #13 – Justin, you are amazing.

    Comment by Ray — August 13, 2008 @ 3:08 pm

  23. Not to threadjack but I can completely understand those who worry about laws that make something illegal even if it isn’t enforced. Indeed I find such laws very disturbing since they can lead to fairly ad hoc prosecutions that are very unfair.

    Comment by Clark — August 13, 2008 @ 5:03 pm

  24. wow! This is awesome.

    Comment by sister blah 2 — August 14, 2008 @ 12:32 am

  25. Really, interesting. I think there’s still quite a bit of sacrament-preparation paraphernalia out there. I was in a ward that had an elaborate devicefor filling cups involving a suspended metal pan with strategically-spaced holes drilled in it that tipped, thus filling the cups. Our ward building here has an appropriately-sized plastic plate, also with holes drilled in it, so the water cups can be emptied into the sink before discarded. I’ve often wondered where these things come from, and I wonder if anyone else has such devices in their church buildings.

    Comment by Norbert — August 14, 2008 @ 1:34 am

  26. Out of curiosity when were sacrament trays centralized by the Church? I’d assume the 70s if only because the move to the Ensign sans ads from the Improvement Era with ads changed the market quite a bit. (Didn’t distribution centers open then?)

    Comment by Clark — August 14, 2008 @ 11:10 am

  27. Clark, that’s something I wonder, too, so I’ll have to do a little looking around. I’m thinking Jacob Straud and his trays would make a good post, especially since I’ve found a couple more ads today, one of which includes the letter Justin reported. I’ll try to have the central-supply answer by the time I do that post.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — August 14, 2008 @ 11:25 am

  28. I do remember in the 70’s when I was a kid that the Church offered both white plastic trays and then more expensive metal ones. (Our ward oddly had both plus a couple of those old 30’s ones as well) There also was that switching between paper and plastic cups.

    Comment by Clark — August 14, 2008 @ 4:05 pm

  29. Ardis,
    Whatever happened to that eclectic collection of items that was once housed in the old Bureau of Information building that stood on the southeast corner of Temple Square? In many ways, that ‘exhibition’ appeared to be the equivalent of ‘Grandma’s attic’. One of my favorites was the icing (yes, folks, the same as the ubiquitous cake topping) replica of the Salt Lake Temple. I remembered that the icing temple had started to gather dust and was beginning to look a little dingy. But even in that it mirrored the real Temple which needed a steam cleaning when I first saw it in January 1967. If memory serves me correctly there were minerals, stuffed animals, artifacts from the South Pacific native cultures as well as objects from our own native American tribes here in the American West. It was a curious montage of items which I hope did not end up consigned to the dust bins after the Bureau closed. Perhaps you can enlighten those of us who are old enough to remember The Bureau and it’s remarkable contents.

    Comment by Velikiye Kniaz — August 14, 2008 @ 10:30 pm

  30. Has anyone else heard the story that during WWII a branch in Germany used 8 mm shells for the cups in a sacrament trays?
    It sounds like a great story– turning swords into plough-shares and all that but I’m a a bit dubious.

    Comment by JPaul — August 18, 2008 @ 12:23 am

  31. If that’s a true story, JPaul, it shows the superiority of the English system of measures. 8 mm is really small, but .50 caliber would be a reasonble size for a sacrament cup.

    Comment by Mark B. — August 18, 2008 @ 10:23 am

  32. I’ve read of servicemen in the Pacific “making sacrament cups from 20mm shell casings, and a water pitcher from a 40mm shell casing.” John L. Hart, “Faith Overcomes Evil of World War II, Leads to Growth Worldwide,” Church News, Aug. 19, 1995.

    The July 1998 Ensign featured a photo of a sacrament tray made by LDS sailors on board the USS Intrepid. They also used 20mm shell casings for cups. “Update: USS Intrepid Sacrament Tray,” Ensign, July 1998, 80.

    Comment by Justin — August 18, 2008 @ 4:01 pm

  33. [...] had up one of my favorite posts of the week with old advertisements for sacrament trays. I suspect most didn’t even know these were ordered by spec by the Church as a whole until [...]

    Pingback by Best of the Week 6: Academic LDS : Mormon Metaphysics — August 18, 2008 @ 5:59 pm

  34. Thanks, Justin. 20 mm makes a lot more sense than 8mm (or 7.62mm, which seems a more common size for German small arms).

    Comment by Mark B. — August 18, 2008 @ 6:12 pm

  35. Just a quick comment since the topic was brought up. I am a convert to the LDS church and prior was an Episcopalian. Wine was used in communion and given to old and young alike. AND we all drank from the same cup. Ew.

    Comment by Terri — January 12, 2010 @ 1:07 am

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