According to the internet, we (or someone) will be celebrating "More Herbs, Less Salt Day" on August 29th. The holiday was invented by Wellcat Herbs, a small manufacturer of herbal products in Pennsylvania, and a prolific source of made-up internet holidays.
Before you ditch the shaker, though, the Morton Salt Company would like a word! The clip presented here is the introduction to the 1968 industrial film A Gram of Salt Presented as a Public Service, which explores manufacture of, and the many everyday uses of a wide variety of salt products.
The film was produced for the Morton Salt Company by the Jam Handy Organization. The production house, founded by Olympian swimmer Henry Jamison "Jam" Handy (1886-1983), was a prolific creator of industrial films and theatrical performances, as well as filmstrips and other multimedia instructional materials. This film was one of an estimated 7,000 motion pictures produced by the company between its founding in 1918 and its closure in 1983.
The video is now part of Hagley Library’s Carol Litchfield collection on the history of salt (Accession 2012.219), one of the world’s greatest resources on the subject of salt.
Carol Litchfield (1936-2012) earned her Doctorate in Organic Biochemistry in 1969. She was a professor at Rutgers University in the department of microbiology for ten years, until 1980 when she moved to the DuPont Company, first as head of Environmental Toxicology at Haskell Laboratory, and then as Senior Scientist for its bioremediation subsidiary.
Litchfield later started her own consulting company and worked for Chester Environmental before beginning work at George Mason University in 1993, where she remained for the rest of her career working as a professor and research professor for the Department of Biology and Department of Environmental Science and Policy.
Litchfield’s work as a biologist and biochemist specifically focused on halophilic microbiology, that being, microorganisms that live in salt rich environments. Later in her life her interest in halophiles transformed into a fascination with the history of salt. Her collection, which now resides at Hagley, covers a wide range of materials related to salt, from images of salt production and advertisements from salt companies, to salt shakers and actual pieces of salt rock, as well as Litchfield’s own personal papers, research, and work.
To the view A Gram of Salt Presented as a Public Service in full, and to explore more material from this collection, just click here!