Selections from Hagley Museum and Library's archives and published collections on the history of American business, technology, and innovation.
The Hagley Vault
Can you keep a secret? Because I can't. So I'll tell you right now - this illustration served as the cover for A Public Secret, a ca.1900 advertising pamphlet for Cottolene, a brand of shortening made by the N. K. Fairbanks Company. The product, made from beef suet and cottonseed oil, was manufactured from 1868 until the early 20th century.
The pamphlet included instructions for cooking and frying with Cottolene, testimonials, and relayed the story, in poem form, of a "fair maiden" whose purchase of Cottolene brings her fame amongst her friends and leads to marriage.Read more...
For posts prior to October 2020, visit the Hagley Vault on Tumblr.