Keepapitchinin, the Mormon History blog » Ads You’re Not Going to See Again Anytime Soon – Chapter 9

Ads You’re Not Going to See Again Anytime Soon – Chapter 9

By: Ardis E. Parshall - October 27, 2008

Pull up a chair, friend, and let me offer you something to drink. Exactly what that is, though, depends on when you come to call. These advertisements — every one of ’em — were printed in Church publications.









  1. These are so fun! You can see about when the WofW was stressed by Church leaders.

    Comment by Steve C. — October 27, 2008 @ 7:09 am

  2. Pre- Heber J. Grant and post- (or should I say postum-) Heber J. Grant?

    Comment by Researcher — October 27, 2008 @ 7:28 am

  3. I read here that Postum is nolonger being made? Just in the last year or so.

    Comment by BruceC — October 27, 2008 @ 8:08 am

  4. That’s right, Bruce, and if you hunt around some of my complaints are no doubt still on the foodie boards whining about it. I’m hoarding my last stale half-jar of it, ’cause nothing else is even close to Posum. {sigh}

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — October 27, 2008 @ 8:15 am

  5. I’m old enough to remember (or think I remember) Tab ads in the Improvement Era. Since the only possible justification for drinking Tab would be to get the caffeine, this must have been caffeinated.

    Comment by Sheldon — October 27, 2008 @ 9:24 am

  6. Can’t we find some smart Mormon (or Mormon-savvy) entrepreneur that will bring back Postum? Seriously, my own last half-bottle will not survive the coming winter . . .

    Comment by Martin Willey — October 27, 2008 @ 9:37 am

  7. Is Nekto a malt beverage? I just love the name.

    Comment by jeans — October 27, 2008 @ 10:17 am

  8. My folks used to drink Postum, but I could never bring myself to do it, because I thought it tasted nasty! However, my wife is also hoarding an old bottle of Postum that she mixes with cocoa on occasions. To me, that just makes the cocoa taste nasty.

    How about a nice, cool, invigorating Nekto? Didn’t it have a big role in the old Scifi movie, “The Day the Earth Stood Still?” Klaatu, Barrada, Nekto?

    Comment by kevinf — October 27, 2008 @ 10:25 am

  9. My grandfather drank postum. My mother drank pero, a German ersatz coffee. We drank it as well on my mission, however, in Germany they called it Karo.

    Comment by Steve C. — October 27, 2008 @ 1:36 pm

  10. In the US, at least in western brands, Karo is thick, clear corn syrup. “Pour me a cup, Ma — I didn’t want to live until Christmas anyway.”

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — October 27, 2008 @ 1:58 pm

  11. Mmmm. Karo Kaffee.

    I remember an eating appointment with some members in a large German city. The wife proudly told us that she had made a mocha cake for us with Karo instead of coffee. Let’s just say it had a unique taste.

    We shop at a small store (small in square footage but one of the top food stores in the world) named Aldi that only sells corn syrup during the holiday baking season. Yeah, it’s not the same thing as Karo Kaffee.

    It looks like you can buy pero on amazon. Kind of pricey, though, for what you get. The reviews mention people’s experiences with different brands of coffee substitutes. How much do you need new postum, Ardis? I see someone selling a jar for $99.99 plus shipping.

    What lovely memories I have of visiting my grandparents during my college years. On chilly Sunday evenings they would often drink a cup of Postum with buttered toast (cut diagonally) and home-bottled peaches. I don’t think I’ve had Postum before or since.

    Comment by Researcher — October 27, 2008 @ 2:04 pm

  12. You’ve just described hundreds of my mother’s breakfasts, right down to the diagonal cut of the toast.

    Um, I think I don’t need Postum quite that badly, Researcher. That kind of addiction to Postum would defeat the WoW, wouldn’t it? So I can do without. Yeah. I can. {exerts willpower}

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — October 27, 2008 @ 2:08 pm

  13. Nekto…
    Didn’t the character played by Patricia Neal have to say “Nekto Barata” to Gort the robot to keep him from destroying the earth on The Day the Earth Stood Still?

    Comment by S. Taylor — October 27, 2008 @ 3:03 pm

  14. Very good, S. …

    “Gort, Klatu Barata Nekto!”

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — October 27, 2008 @ 3:11 pm

  15. Ardis and S. Taylor, re “The Day the Earth Stood Still”, I obviously misspelled alien Michael Rennie’s intergalactic language in my # 8 above. My kids will be glad to know I’m not the biggest Scifi nerd in the bloggernacle.

    Comment by kevinf — October 27, 2008 @ 3:30 pm

  16. kevinf, somehow I completely missed your first comment — I have no idea how (you can’t guess how closely I hover over Keepa during the day).

    I’m sorry. I bow to you, who said it first.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — October 27, 2008 @ 3:39 pm

  17. Buttered toast with Postum. I want some right now.

    Comment by Martin Willey — October 27, 2008 @ 3:55 pm

  18. Yeah, but both you and S Taylor remembered Gort’s name, which I did not. Maybe Nekto makes your eyes shine…..

    Comment by kevinf — October 27, 2008 @ 5:48 pm

  19. … in the dark …

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — October 27, 2008 @ 5:54 pm

  20. #4 – ’cause nothing else is even close to Posum.

    I have a friend from West Virginia who also thinks nothing is better than posum – and he can’t spell possum, either.

    Check out the shoulders on the woman in the second picture. Wow!

    Comment by Ray — October 27, 2008 @ 8:00 pm

  21. I’ll enlist that woman and her shoulders to bounce you outta here if you mock my tpyos again! 😉

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — October 27, 2008 @ 8:08 pm

  22. Ardis,

    Coffee-drinking was common even among the most faithful, in those days. My dad’s mother told everyone she had permission from her bishop. She kept a percolater in her kitchen and drank coffee ever day.

    These days the alternates for banned drinks ranges far and wide. Tahitian noni juice is one of the ones in vogue in the Provo area. I think it tastes like turpentine.

    Comment by Jim Cobabe — October 27, 2008 @ 10:21 pm

  23. BTW, does anyone know what Nekto is or was?

    Comment by Jim Cobabe — October 28, 2008 @ 1:43 am

  24. In Europe during and after WWII there was a thriving market for coffee substitutes. (“Thriving” here means people were very enterprising finding their own while spending as little as possible.) I remember my mom growing nostalgic about them, but never did see any until I joined the Church in 1979 and saw members using some.

    I never got into the substitute stuff. I drink an occasional hot chocolate when it’s cold, but other than that, I’m fine without. I often wonder why coffee, tea and substitutes are so big? I mean, when coffee and tea were exotic and expensive, offering them to your guests was a sign of having arrived socially. But they have been affordable everyday fare for decades now, so how come coffee or tea is still so prevalent when there’s no “snob” effect in it? Is it because of the addictive properties or is it just a habit?

    I hope I didn’t distract too much…

    Comment by Velska — October 28, 2008 @ 2:35 am

  25. Oh, and “nekto” is a Slavic word, which means “nobody” (at least in Russian and Slovak). The Sci-Fi writer knew some languages, I guess..

    Comment by Velska — October 28, 2008 @ 2:52 am

  26. Coffee and tea are both stimulants, which I have little doubt is the chief reason for their continued popularity. It isn’t the only reason, though, judging by why I enjoy Postum. Drinking something warm in cold weather goes a long way toward warming you up, faster than putting on another sweater does; in the case of a non-stimulant like Postum, the warmth can help you settle down and get sleepy in the evening, too. There are also ritualistic elements to it which can be almost hypnotic: putting the kettle on to heat the water, getting out the cups and spoons (often china or silver that you don’t use otherwise, which is something a lot of women enjoy), spooning out the dry stuff — and doing everything in exactly the same way, the same order, and at a slow pace, because the water takes its time to heat so there’s no point in hurrying the rest of it. You really can’t drink hot liquids fast, so you’re forced to slow down for a few minutes and be calm. And there’s a social element, too, if you’re having a cup with your mother or a friend, either because you talk in between sips or just sit companionably together while enjoying something pleasurable. There aren’t a lot of moments in the day to do that.

    Wow, I miss Postum.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — October 28, 2008 @ 7:20 am

  27. Ardis,

    There’s always Ovaltine.

    Comment by Jim Cobabe — October 28, 2008 @ 3:58 pm

  28. Karo is the suit of diamonds in cards and is a trademark for the drink. I have seen it sold here as Pero with the same trademark.

    Comment by Eric Boysen — October 30, 2008 @ 7:00 am

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