jellologoold.pngHistorical Item

Name: Jell-O

Category: Food

Size/weight: Varies

Rarity: Common

Value: $0.10 a pop

Uses: Making dessert jiggly

Description (ca. 1921):

Jell-O is a powdered form a gelatin mixed with varied flavorings. It was a popular snack enjoyed by many who lived in Rochester at the time. It was first trademarked in 1897 by a carpenter and cough syrup manufacturer, Pearle Bixby Wait in the city of LeRoy, New York.

In 1899 Jell-O was sold to Orator Woodward, the head of the Genesee Pure Food Company, for $450. To help sales of the product, the company created advertisements to help promote the jiggly dessert. After only a few years, sales had amounted to over a quarter of a million dollars, but Woodward died shortly after. After his death, the gelatin powder dessert has continued to be commercially successful to this day.

Jell-O was a popular food item in Rochester during the 1920s and was advertised in many publications, including those put out by the institution that would one day become RIT. These advertisements would often include racism and sexism that was much more commonplace at the time. For example these ads were in a yearbook of the institution that would one day become RIT: