Tuesday, 5 March 2019

Sunny Side of Life

Written as a hymn by prolific Christian song writer, Ada J Blenkhorn, it was made famous by the Carter Family in their 1928 recording, issued on the Victor label as Keep on the Sunny Side. An uplifting sentiment with a strong undertow of foreboding – perfect for the imminent financial crash and subsequent Depression. The phrase sets the tone for this promotional brochure from 1934, published by Kellogg’s in 1934. On the cover a hyperactive family, supercharged by solar energy (and a generous intake of Kellogg’s products), orbit a sundial. Inside, we are quickly introduced to a world of anxiety about constipation – the enemy of happy family life. The man of the household waves his hat as he sets out on the Road to Regularity. Then comes the undertow of foreboding – the passage of food through the body is described and illustrated, leading to a graphic timeline of the alimentary journey. Medication is dismissed in favour of a healthy diet with plenty of “bulk”. Happily there is a natural remedy in the form of Kellogg’s range of breakfast cereals. And so it goes on, and on, revealing a touching faith in the power of the written word. It serves as a reminder that the business we know today, infamous for the quantities of sugar and salt loaded into their cereals, had its origins in the wilder margins of dietary obsessives and the congregation of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.

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