As If...


I’ve been collecting Jello ephemera for thirty or more years. I used to find recipe booklets at yard sales for a dime, but that Jello_icecream_powder_small_for_blowas then. Now they are a bit pricier, and harder to find, although with eBay anything’s possible, with patience and determination.

Jello started advertising heavily at the beginning of the 20th Century. The early booklets are lush with chromolithographed color. The Jello really does seem to shimmer off the page. Jello was an innovative advertiser throughout the 20th Century, and my collection goes right up to the seventies.

My collection will stay intact and is not for sale unless I have doubles. I do, however, make reproductions and have them mounted by Silver Maple Editions, for sale at Pine Street Art Works.

I only reproduce images from ads in my collection, in limited editions, and only those before 1925. Although it is possible to find good scans of Jello, and other, ads on some websites, I  find it somehow unseemly - if not unethical - to sell copies of electronic copies of copies of art.The parade of simulacra must not be allowed to get too rowdy.

Hello_they_all_want_jell111_3 The back cover of this booklet - of which the above Jello Ice cream Powder was an insert - shows the Jello girl on the phone to the grocer, who is pictured on the front of the booklet answering the phone. Phones were a new technology, and using them in the advertising shows just how modern and up to date the product is. The telephone cord in the picture becomes a real life green string which is threaded through the  green hole on the upper right.

If this ad were  being made today, the girl would be using her Blackberry to call the grocer. If we called the grocer anymore. "Hello, City Market, send over a box of Jello please."