The internet says that today is Strawberry Shortcake Day, so it must be true ...

Color illustrations of strawberry shortcake and a baked potato in a pamphlet for cooking with margarine.

The internet says that today is Strawberry Shortcake Day, so it must be true.

Newspaper references to Strawberry Shortcake Day date back to at least 1901, when the restaurant of New York's Exchange for Woman's Work on April 18th of that year. The Exchange, part of a nationwide system of philanthropic institutions established by the Woman's Exchange Movement, offered women opportunities to earn money anonymously and respectably from within the home by providing outlets to sell handmade embroidery, sewing, handicrafts, and home-cooked foods.

Other institutions also held annual or recurring Strawberry Shortcake Day celebrations in the months between April and August to celebrate berry season, though the only June 14th date appears to go to Camp Good Health in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, which was established in 1926 as a camp for disadvantaged children. Their June 14, 1940 Strawberry Shortcake Day menu also included a mid-morning lunch of pineapple juice and cod liver oil, followed by a lunch for the kids of "salmon loaf, raw carrot sticks (which the youngsters consider a treat), bread and butter, and all the milk they want to drink".

Whatever day you decide to celebrate strawberry season, with or without a salmon loaf,  however, we're here for you with this page from Armour’s Veribest Oleomargarine, a 1918 pamphlet from Armour and Company. The pamphlet advertised Armour’s oleomargarine, a butter substitute made from both plant and animal fats that offered to help “housewives comply with the Food Administration’s conservation program” during wartime. In addition to recipes, the pamphlet offered details and illustrations of its plant and production process in Chicago, Illinois.

This pamphlet is part of the Hagley Library’s collection of Carter Litchfield Collection on the History of Fatty Materials (Accession 2413). You can view it in full, along with a selection of other materials from this and our collection of Carter Litchfield photographs and ephemera on the history of fatty materials (Accession 2007.227), online now by visiting their page in our Digital Archive. Just click here!