« An Assessment of John G. Roberts, Jr., President Bush’s Nominee for the Supreme Court, Written in the Style of an Us Weekly Movie Review | Main | Archival Interview: Hilary Mantel »

Gerry Thomas: 1922-2005

TV DinnerI haven’t checked, but I imagine James “Scotty” Doohan tributes are multiplying like tribbles on the Internets. Myself, I would like to take a moment to honor another luminary who died yesterday, Gerry Thomas, the inventor of the TV Dinner.

The TV Dinner is a quintessential 20th-century artifact. It not only changed the way people ate, but it changed the way people thought about eating. Plenty of people, from Slow Food advocates to those who bemoan the demise of the family meal, will tell you that the TV dinner changed America for the worse, but it’s worth remembering that, before the invention of convenience foods, women were pretty much trapped in the kitchen for much of the day, every day. Also, I’m just wild about those weird, crusty-fluffy mashed potatoes. Mmmm.

The AP did a pretty nice job of analyzing the cultural impact of the TV Dinner in their obituary, but, if you want the full story, you can find it in Karal Ann Marling’s As Seen on TV: The Visual Culture of Everyday Life in the 1950s, which is one of my very favorite books.

July 21, 2005 | Permalink


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Gerry Thomas: 1922-2005: