I came across an item in the Kirschner collection today that reminded me how useful this resource is for many types of research — not just those dealing directly with food, recipes and nutrition. The item I found was a small booklet titled Gone With The Wind Cook Book: Famous “Southern Cooking” Recipes.
This particular booklet sent me down a rabbit hole of marketing research. It was produced by Pebeco Tooth Paste and Pebeco Tooth Powder (prominently advertised on the back cover), and came free with the purchase of either product in 1939, the year Gone With the Wind was released. This initially struck me as odd until I remembered that just a few days ago, I was borrowing my niece’s Sponge Bob toothpaste. A little different and a little similar.
On further examination, this small piece of cross-promotion could have sent me in any number of different directions: women’s studies (the book is full of references to the roles of housewives and the importance of keeping a 17 (!) inch waistline), history of southern cooking, historical illustrations, marketing language. And those are just off the top of my head.