C. F. SAUER COMPANY, From Bland to Grand!

This vintage magazine ad is from The Delineator, July 1918. Uncle Sam asking you to participate in the war effort. Imagine that? Making grocery shopping political and implying the citizens of a country should band together as one in time of war. Spice up your dinner during wartime. Would we have the stomach for it today? Do you think Uncle Sam could get any of us to do anything these days?

(SOURCE: The Delineator, July 1918)

The image below is from the Sunday News, Charleston S. C. on March 17, 1918. Click here to see the paper, it's well worth the time. Note that the blue highlighting is simply Google Books way of saying, "Look here! Here's what you want!"

The C. F. Sauer Company is still in business.
The C.F. Sauer Company was founded on October 13, 1887.
In 1929, Sauer purchased Duke’s Products Company and thus entered the mayonnaise industry. The recipe for Duke’s Mayonnaise has not been altered since it went into production in 1917.
In the 1950s and 1960s, C.F. Sauer Co. introduced Gold Medal spices and purchased Dean Foods (a margarine company). In recent decades, the company also purchased BAMA brand mayonnaise and Spice Hunter brand exotic spices. It was the first spice company to use plastic containers. Their condiment facility is located in Mauldin, South Carolina (southeast of Greenville). They acquired Pleasants Hardware in 1989. In 2011, C.F. Sauer Co. sold its Dean Foods division to a subsidiary of Bunge Limited. (SOURCE: Wikikpedia)
Who was Uncle Sam?  Was he based on a real person or pure fiction?
The Evolution of Uncle Sam
Sam Wilson was a meat packer in New York, who supplied rations for the soldiers. They had to stamp their contractors name and where the rations were coming from, onto the food they were sending. On the package, it was labeled “E.A – US.” When someone asked what that stood for, a coworker joked and said “Elbert Anderson (the contractor) and Uncle Sam,” referring to Sam Wilson, though it actually stood for United States. As early as 1835 Brother Jonathan made a reference to Uncle Sam implying that they symbolized different things: Brother Jonathan was the country itself while Uncle Sam was the government and its power.
By the 1850s the name Brother Jonathan and Uncle Sam were being used nearly interchangeably to the point that images of what had been called "Brother Jonathan" were now being called Uncle Sam. Similarly, appearance of both personifications varied wildly. For example, one depiction of Uncle Sam in 1860 depicted him looking like Benjamin Franklin, (an appearance echoed in Harper's Weekly's June 3, 1865 "Checkmate" political cartoon) while the depiction of Brother Jonathan on page 32 of the January 11, 1862 edition Harper's Weekly looks more like the modern version of Uncle Sam (except for the lack of a goatee).
However, even with the effective abandonment of Brother Jonathan (ie Johnny Reb) near the end of the Civil War, Uncle Sam didn't get a standard appearance until the well-known "recruitment" image of Uncle Sam was created by James Montgomery Flagg. It was this image more than any other that set the appearance of Uncle Sam as the elderly man with white hair and a goatee wearing a white top hat with white stars on a blue band, and red and white striped trousers.
The image of Uncle Sam was shown publicly for the first time, according to some, in a picture by Flagg on the cover of the magazine Leslie's Weekly, on July 6, 1916, with the caption "What Are You Doing for Preparedness?" More than four million copies of this image were printed between 1917 and 1918.
Flagg's image also was used extensively during World War II during which America was codenamed 'Samland' by the German intelligence agency Abwehr. (SOURCE: Wikipedia)
So, the message here is "Don't be bland, be GRAND!" Otherwise there's going to be an old dude with a gray goatee at your front door pointing at you for not listening to his recipe suggestions. And no, the old guy with the goatee is not your Uncle Ralph simply having a '60s flashback with a craving for Fritos.


  1. I needed a good story this AM. Thanks! I knew the artist - not personally. Since he worked in the ad business, he was considered an illustrator. Pen & Ink, mostly. Quite the artist at the age of 15, and didn't quit. Probably the path I should have chosen.

    1. Which artist are you referring to? The one that did the Uncle Sam in the ad or the famous poster?

      Make sure you click on the poster image to see it larger. It looks like maybe it was done in gouache.

  2. I should have said, because although similar in appearance (I think it's the goatee), I meant the recruiting poster artist, James Montgomery Flagg.

  3. Felix0912/05/2012

    During World War I, a vast amount of the food produced in the U.S. was being shipped to Europe to help feed the millions of starving people there. [Remember, World War I started in Europe in 1914.] By sending so much food to Europe food stortages were widespread in the U.S., and there was also rationing. Most people associate food shortages and rationing with World War II but they don't even think about World War I, which like #II, was a war we did not start. Sadly, so many people know little about their own country's history. Personally, I think trying to do what we could to help feed the starving millions in Europe during World War I was a good thing. Making what little food we had left here in the U.S. taste better meant more food could be conserved -- and thereby more could be shipped to Europe. I'm PROUD of what my country did to try to help those in need in Europe. Obviously, you don't agree.

    1. No, I was being facetious. I was thinking of how we were told to shop when we went to war with Iraq. That and buy a gas mask and duct tape.

      I agree that we needed to do everything we could to feed those without instead of merrily sitting by doing nothing.

  4. Felix0912/05/2012

    My apologies if I misunderstood. It is worth noting that the first ad above, the one by the C. F. Sauer Company, was produced by/for that company -- not by a government agency. The company was asking the consumers to buy its products, because doing so [and using them, of course] could help the government's [Uncle Sanm's] food conservation program. Sure the company wanted to make money but there's nothing wrong in that when done honestly.

    1. No problem. Understand that much of what I write is with tongue firmly planted in cheek. Only rarely do I rant. So just tip things on their axis and you'll figure out what I mean.